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Haydn: The Complete Strings Quartets Played On Period Instru

Haydn: The Complete Strings Quartets Played On Period Instru

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This remarkable undertaking by the Festetics Quartet represents the first and only recording of Haydn's complete String Quartets on period instruments. Recorded in Budapest between 1993 and 2006, it represents the most challenging project accomplished by Michel Bernstein, the legendary founder of Arcana who died a few months after the recording of the very last volume. Out of print for many years, Arcana's reference edition features all 58 string quartets authenticated by the composer for the great Artaria edition, with 19 volumes presented in chronological order. This monumental achievement is enriched by a detailed essay signed by the Hungarian musicologist László Somfai, one of the most eminent Haydn scholars. The Festetics have extensively studied Haydn’s original quartet manuscripts, and have relied heavily on László Somfai.


These superbly engineered recordings are probing, focused readings, if at times slightly too metronomic or lacking that last measure of elasticity. Nevertheless, on period instruments there is currently no better set of these groundbreaking works.

-- Crescendo (Pierre Jean Tribot)

Haydn: String Quartets, Opp. 33 & 42 - Volume 4 / Festetics Quartet

Tuning, balance and blend are impeccable; vibrato is not avoided but used to specific expressive or coloristic effect. Those who hanker for a combination of the clarity of the best 'period' playing, with the warmth of the Hungarian tradition will find it here.

-- BBC Music Magazine (2009)


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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 19
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Arcana
    • UPC/Barcode: 3760195732076
    • Item Number: A207