Author Topic: Haydn's Haus  (Read 1500561 times)

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snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1560 on: December 30, 2009, 09:49:45 PM »
Dig baby,

Our friend the other day here brought up the Salomon Quartet for the first time, I think, on This Most Stokin' Thread, and, being in the throes of Op.20 CDCDCD, I splunked down, count em, $52, for the set!!!

Maybe you didn't hear me,... I spent $52 on two (2) cds...

...anyhow...
I got 4-6 first, today, and, of course, I went straight for the first mvmt. of No.5. My impression of ALL HIP bands I've heard now is that none of them allow themselves the expressive freedoms others take for granted.

You know I go on about the big violin melody in the minor that happens twice proper (most groups repeat; so far, only Ulbrich doesn't). Only violinist Cropper of The Lindsays allows himself to soar on this most beautiful 8 or 9 note melody. The QM's violin is absorbed more into the ensemble, and with both the Festetics and the Salomon, even though they allow more "spotlight" on the violin, both violinists pinch off The Sacred Fifth Note of The Melody. I am just so sure that Haydn would've wanted to hear that note waaail.

That aside, my first impression of the Salomon is their delicacy. They are of course beautifully recorded by Hyperion,...back in 1991!!!... and they have what I consider a pretty tight acoustic. I can always appreciate a little more ample chamber; however, I will say, that except for those beautifully reverberatingly long held notes, this tight acoustic here is well nigh perfect for that intimate HIPness that the Salomon are (supposedly) known for.

I will say that I pretty much only heard negative things about the Salomon, but, as they gently bring up the opening of No.5, one is simply taken on a slightly different journey than either the QM or the QF. By now I am seeing the (self imposed) limitations of HIP, and, I wonder how many more Op.20s we're actually going to get. Between these Big Three, we've got a lot of ideas. I would of course love to hear the LondonHQ's take (that I can imagine being quite interestingly bizarre (their style might have to be tweaked a notch or two).

It is quite illuminating to have now heard four different HIP versions of two of these SQs (2 $ 4)! No.4 here sounds a lot like the Esterhazy interpretation, yet even more delicate, thought the Salomons don't have the Esterhazy's sonic "halo" that adds so much charm for me.

Without giving a blow by blow, the Salomons seem to generally lead the field in quick and crisp tempos (though, there is a softness too). Everything seems correct, and, there are no WTF moments. Their intonation resembles the general quality of  their peers; their focus is softer than, say, QM, but, then again, their whole approach is very intimate. Their ensemble is dancingly transparent (also aided by the bold recording).

I really don't know how to criticize this group, frankly. They score definite points over both the QF&M in many key categories, and give very very little away. The super main difference between the Big Three is their recorded presentation:



QM: known for their big, "orchestral" sound and highly noble playing style.

QF: a very close-up, soft grained, dry and homey sound, like their playing at the other end of the room. The epitome of perfect lo-fi (IMHO). Plus, their conversational Hungarian style fuses with the recording to form a definite image of four horny old men (jus kidding!).

Salomon: that perfect Hyperion sound, in a slightly drier acoustic than normal, which, in this case. serves the production wonderfully. You will only slightly wish to have a bigger overall stage, but things feel right good. The most invisible presentation.



Some may find the Salomon a touch thin (a little bass response). Others may think they are not the very very last word in all things here. Perhaps the LHQ will do something wondrous, but until then, we have the QM, QF, Salomon, and Buchberger, all in very different presentations, to fill up that which lacks.



I know this is a very short review, but when 1-3 arrives, I'll settle in for a lengthier interrogation.



BOTTOM LINE: The Salomon Quartet are to be very highly recommended alongside their peers, and, in many respects, are to be preferred. Taste will dictate that you get everything,... NOW!!!

GO!!!

(But, I can garauntee that it will be $$$ for the Salomon... ouch!)


snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1561 on: January 01, 2010, 11:48:20 PM »
And I got the Salomon playing Op.20 1-3...

Honestly, this set by the Salomon is just really sweet. Perhaps they are not the last word in contrasts in No.3, but to my ears, they have the best all-around No.2, bar none. To be honest, between the QM, QF, and Salomon, the recorded sound is really one of the main differences, and the Salomon certainly have the most  mm mm good sound (on the drier side, 37%). Sometimes the recording may not seem as clinical as, say, the LHQ, with some of the fuguing losing slight detail, but, if I'm not worried, neither should you be ::).

One of the things that struck me was how, on the Ulbich cd, No.4 clocks in right under 15mins., and on the Salomon, in clocks in at 32!!! :o :o :o This is what I've been finding so curious about these pre-1800 SQs. I don't know if the Salomon take every repeat, but it appears so by the lengthy timings.

One of the biggest differences between these HIP groups is the variety of sounds they can make with these OriginalInstruments. The QF seem the least concerned about this, whilst the LHQ seem to have the greatest amount of cool sounds. The Salomon can make a few sounds of their own, though they are quite a few notches below the LHQ.

I think the Salomon do the "self-consciously" HIP thing (they are from 1991, after all) at times, which I think is manifested mostly in the phrasing, or sounding of single tones. I will have to compare with the QF's more natural approach.

Well, again, the BOTTOM LINE is that this Salomon Op.20 is a pure delight, with a general tone maintained throughout the set, which is marked by delicacy and light. Everything is pretty much the way one would want it, though a little more soul searing here and there would have been nice. Considering that the Salomon come from 1991, and the LHQ from 2007-9, we can see what strides the HIP mvmt. has been making over the last 20 years or so. The Salomon don't give anything away easily. All things in context- the Salomon deliver super high quality Haydn here. We're dating.



btw- yes, I've completely gone overboard and got the other Lindsay Op.20, and the Buchberger Op.20 (yes, Virginia, even them!,... we'll see what they do in No.5!). Hopefully I have sated the beast here. I would love to hear the Tokyo, though.

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1562 on: January 04, 2010, 08:15:47 AM »
After almost a year, I got the other half of the Lindsays' take on Op.20, and I gotta tell ya, IS there another Modern Version that does all that the Lindsays do?

Whatever "ragged ensemble" questions appear to be put to rest here. I was just bowled over again and again by their great ideas on how to play these pieces. Highlights include the Zingarese of No.4, which is taken quite fast (1:32!!!), making the Trio section's cello solo come out the best so far in terms of sheer excitement.

Also, No.3's first mvmt. has all the requisite drama, much more incisive than the Salomon. This Finale, as with all the Lindsay Finales, is taken at breakneck speed, which the group holds together thrillingly. One interesting aspect is that the Lindsays' Finale takes 3:42, whilst the Salomon take over 6mins., and the culprit is the repeat, but what is interesting is that it appears that the reason the Lindsays don't play the repeat is because the cd is at 79mins. already and wouldn't have been able to hold the repeated ending. Ha, take about choices!



The BOTTOM LINE is that the Lindsays have the most satisfying overall Op.20 because they take chances in EVERY mvmt. practically, and appear to pull everything off with only a couple of instances where you wonder if Cropper's enthusiasm just got the best of him. I personally can't tell, so I pretend everything's fine. otherwise, I am totally bowled over by the Lindsays overarching passion and committment in every note.

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1563 on: January 04, 2010, 12:11:32 PM »
Just got back from the library with the QM Op.20. It certainly had been a while, and it's bracing to hear them again at this point in the adventure.

After hearing QF and Salomons (and the Esterhazy), the QM come off this time as very gutsy and earthy, with lots of wood tones being squeezed out, especially in the lower register. Frankly, I think most everyone has a great take on Nos. 1 & 4. Everybody brings some form of The Goods to the Zingarese, and all take the finale very well in 4.

The QM have the slowest opening of No.2, along with the QF, but amply justify this by accenting the "chugga chugga" with lots of rustic bow strokes. The Capriccio is verrry slow though- I like the super heavy intro., but when the rhythm comes in, I do sense a slight bit of drag. One gets used to it, but still, compared to everybody else, there is a slight slowness.

I'm gearing up for The Super Op.20 HIP Review, not only mvmt. by mvmt., but nuance by nuance, haha. Hopefully the Buchberger will arrive shortly, and then we'll be off to the races.

Nurse!

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1564 on: January 04, 2010, 08:46:56 PM »
All I do is listen to Op.20 all day long...


 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

...bum bum..d'bum bum...
...all day long...


 :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

Spock! 8)

 :-*


snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1565 on: January 05, 2010, 07:35:51 AM »
Only one more page to the Big Op.33 Bash! Call yer friends!

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1566 on: January 07, 2010, 11:21:02 PM »
For some reason I thought that the Buchberger's maverick approach would work for Op.20.  I tell you solemnly that this set is one hot mess sweetie! :-* Jens' observation that they do interesting things one minute and bonehead things the next is pretty much it, though I found a frozen vision of what could have be super great, gothic and grand guignol(?), and quirky as all get out fun, but instead I find a lot to lay at the feet of the leader. Ultimately, many great ideas, I believe, are marred by psychotic execution.

The very intro of the famous No.2 Capriccio is taken verrry fast,... and then!, when the rhythm proper starts, it's almost as slow as the QM! I know, some of you are thinking, Has he gone mad? Anyhow, no comments from the peanut gallery, haha...

One idea that aaalmost hits the mark is the Menuet of No.5, which is taken at quite a draggy pace compared to everyone else, but, listen, it almost sounds like Beethoven! They really should have just gone a lot slower, and then the effect would have been complete. Can anyone hear this? Their slow mvmt. here is quite unique also. The first mvmt., with "that" note that I keep harping on,... well, they seem to do pretty good right up and until, but, they end up going so fast that they rob the music of some of its inherent drama. Lay off the coffee, guys! :o

In the places where they don't really distinguish themselves from the competition (first mvmts. of Nos. 1 & 4 & 6, perhaps), they really really don't distinguish themselves, and this is partly due to the dullish sound. The fact is, they produce a nice variety of tones, but the Edgar Allen Poe recording softens up the top end, giving a curiously strange and "authentic" sound, as if we're hearing the DeSade Quartet! ;) I just wish that they would have gone even further.

The problem is, when they do go further, they have trouble really pulling it off. Case in point is the Zingarese of No.4. The BBs take it lightning fast, as the Lindsays do (1:32/1:36, as opposed to the 2min. mark by all of their competitors), so that the central cello episode really takes on virtuoso appeal, but hear how the Lindsays' cellist really nails the endless notes, whereas the BB's cellist feels like they're stretching for it.

The fact is, the band plays pretty tight, but the leader sometimes doesn't seem to have it to produce his vision. I think it's potential genius to play these SQs as if they were DeSade's entertainment, but , if that's the case, then the BBs just didn't go far enough. They should have played the slow mvmt. of No.1 at half speed; they should have gone LedZep on No.5; they should have played the Capriccio as if for Baudelaire's funeral; and, so on...

I would love for a real gothy quartet, maybe in rock n roll white wigs with black 1700s' garb, to take on Op.20 (or, is that the Hagen set???).

I thought they played one of the slow mvmts. better than I've heard yet (was it No.5, or No.4?), but their recklessness can be exasperating at times, such as in the non-fugal endings of Nos. 1 & 4. Their speed only serves to drain the music of "point", and wit, so that all you hear are the musicians playing what sounds like Hindemith. Sorry :'(.

Their great strength is that they hint at the possibilities of "The Greatest 20". The risks, the tonal variety, there are some striking ideas here, in just about every mvmt. It's just that a) they're caffeinated, and b) they don't go nearly as far as one could go to making a "Rocky Horror 20" (and I mean that in the good way). The execution of super fast runs can be downright sloppy at times, and please, I hope no one will defend them on this point: there is just too much glittering precision witnessing againt them. It's not the rabidness of their approach I dislike (there are some great, rude, sounds here), it's just that they could have had that, plus blinding technique, and so much more.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder what the LHQ will do here, if we get to that point. The Auryn, too, have an opportunity to not do it "cookie cutter". We'll see.

Also, I wonder if the Hagen are as psychotic? They most certainly could pull it off.



I have one more Op.20 coming in the mail, the Dekany, and my expectations are high. I feel the long road is coming full circle. Go ahead, make my day.



Has NO ONE HEARD the Tokyo's Op.20??? ??? ???



Those of you who do like the Buchberger, do you have a particular set that you think they excel in?

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1567 on: January 08, 2010, 07:53:05 AM »
For some reason I thought that the Buchberger's maverick approach would work for Op.20.  I tell you solemnly that this set is one hot mess sweetie!....

Another fascinating review. Thanks, Snyp. I think I'll order this (it only costs 7 Euro...even if I only listen to it once, it will be worth the money). But what do you mean by "the Edgar Allen Poe recording"?

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

DarkAngel

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1568 on: January 08, 2010, 08:18:45 AM »

Their great strength is that they hint at the possibilities of "The Greatest 20". The risks, the tonal variety, there are some striking ideas here, in just about every mvmt. It's just that a) they're caffeinated, and b) they don't go nearly as far as one could go to making a "Rocky Horror 20" (and I mean that in the good way). The execution of super fast runs can be downright sloppy at times, and please, I hope no one will defend them on this point: there is just too much glittering precision witnessing againt them. It's not the rabidness of their approach I dislike (there are some great, rude, sounds here), it's just that they could have had that, plus blinding technique, and so much more.

Those of you who do like the Buchberger, do you have a particular set that you think they excel in?

Perfection can often be the enemy of exciting musical presentation.........Schnabel is often quoted as saying to his recording producers "I can play that better with fewer mistakes, but it will not sound as good"

I will not trade the exciting Buchberger SQ for any of the more technically perfect performances by others......

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1569 on: January 08, 2010, 08:20:52 AM »
Another fascinating review. Thanks, Snyp. I think I'll order this (it only costs 7 Euro...even if I only listen to it once, it will be worth the money). But what do you mean by "the Edgar Allen Poe recording"?

Sarge

Some recordings reflect the glittering highs that bounce off even the low tones of the cello, but here, there is a roll-off, so that all the prismatic colors are dampened, and greyed. Perhaps also, recording venues lend a "halo" around the protagonists, and here, the effect is of playing in a torture dungeon. I don't know, I have a feeling this might be a bit subjective. ::) Perhaps sometimes I use the term "Eastern European" sound to denote what is classified usually as a "serviceable" recording. There's really nothing wrong here, just some treble roll-off (to my ears).

For it to be a true "Poe" recording, one would literally have to record in a torture dungeon (you know, just something cavernous,...with a hint of "creepy" tonal reflection,haha,...whatever that means!). I think I got carried away with the idea  of a recording that actually conveys an emotion (creepy, scary in this case), as if the devil and three buddies were playing this music in hell's amphitheater. Can you picture it?

Can you think of recordings in which the "sound" itself is a co-star (meaning, it only adds to the music, not calling attention to itself per se)?

Honestly, I am almost experiencing Haydn fatigue with Op.20.  ??? haha. Right now, some intense car drama is vying for my last two brain cells' attention. Medic! :P

Oops,...gotta get off the computy...

jlaurson

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1570 on: January 08, 2010, 01:37:27 PM »

MN Dave

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1571 on: January 08, 2010, 01:43:58 PM »
It's Haydn duty time...
It's Haydn duty time...

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1572 on: January 08, 2010, 10:28:47 PM »
My buttocks are clenched tight, as a fist. :)

jlaurson

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1573 on: January 09, 2010, 03:47:42 AM »
My buttocks are clenched tight, as a fist. :)

T M I

Offline Bunny

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1574 on: January 09, 2010, 06:54:49 PM »



Buchberger rough'n'ready excitement, Kocian boring, Kodaly gloriously indulgent, Pellegrini diverse & beautiful, Hagen & Mosaiques sublime in their ways, Festetics ghastly.

What, no Apponyi Quartet?  That is one of my favorite sets.  I don't know if it's still available in print, but you can find it here: classicsonline.com




jlaurson

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1575 on: January 10, 2010, 07:14:37 AM »
What, no Apponyi Quartet?  That is one of my favorite sets.  I don't know if it's still available in print, but you can find it here: classicsonline.com



Op. 20, Bunny, not op.33!
But thanks for bringing it to my attention. If it is still in print and not too difficult to get in the US, I will certainly try to include it in my upcoming op.33 survey.

jlaurson

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Franco

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1577 on: January 11, 2010, 07:38:40 AM »

Hadyn – The String Quartets (Part 4)
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1607


Excellent review - thanks for this! 

I was a bit surprised at your reaction to the Festetics since they have been generally praised on this forum (I have not heard them but heard plenty about them).  It is extremely nice to read a review that does not reflect group think and puts a real opinion out there instead of couching everything in CYA vagueness leaving the reader without anything worthwhile about the recording.

I look forward to your traversal of the later works.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 07:40:43 AM by Franco »

snyprrr

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1578 on: January 12, 2010, 08:52:39 PM »
And so, all was quiet in The Enchanted Forest.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Haydn's Haus
« Reply #1579 on: January 13, 2010, 04:37:18 AM »
Buchberger rough'n'ready excitement, Kocian boring, Kodaly gloriously indulgent, Pellegrini diverse & beautiful, Hagen & Mosaiques sublime in their ways, Festetics ghastly.

So I own a rough 'n' ready, a sublime, and a gloriously indulgent. I think I'm set with Opus 20  :)

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"