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V13: String Quartets

V13: String Quartets

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After long, thoroughly satisfying years of service at the Esterhazy court, Joseph Haydn was given a well-deserved retirement in 1790 - with an unusually handsome pension. The composer, who was in great demand throughout the world, used his new freedom to travel, especially to London, and to compose string quartets again. With the first of these "Apponyi" quartets, the Leipzig String Quartet continues its Haydn series and presents another remarkable milestone in the quartet repertoire. The quartets were virtually snatched out of Haydn's hands; Count Apponyi eventually secured exclusive rights for one year at a price of 100 gulden. Although popular with dilettantes, the Op. 74 quartets go beyond the limits of what can be performed by amateurs. The first violin in particular repeatedly attracts attention with virtuoso passages, but the other voices - just listen to the finale of the C major quartet - are also demanded to do a great deal. And Haydn remains true to himself: time and again he surprises players and listeners alike with irregular periods, inserted bars, sudden pauses... And there are echoes of folk music, such as drone surfaces or - in the B-flat major quartet - major/minor changes, which evoke associations with Haydn's years-long stay in Hungary and are a pleasure to listen to. The G minor quartet is the only one of this group to bear a nickname: "Reiterquartett" Rider's refers to the lively finale, which the Leipzig musicians present with verve and delight in playing truly "con brio". But many a slow movement in this quartet trias also spoils the discerning listener: great, timeless music of which there can never be enough.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: MDG-Gold
    • UPC/Barcode: 760623222424
    • Item Number: 3072224-2