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Haydn: String Quartet Op. 9 / The London Haydn Quartet

Album Summary

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : String Quartets (6), Op. 9, H. 3/19-24

Notes & Reviews:

Joseph Haydn's 'String Quartets Op. 9" are commonly regarded as his first mature set, written during the period when the composer emerged as an indisputably great master. The six works have an amplitude, a seriousness of intent and a growing mastery of discourse and thematic development that are a world away from Haydn's earlier efforts. Making its Hyperion recording debut, the London Haydn Quartet is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting quartets around.

'Without a doubt one of the all-time great Haydn quartet recordings ... The original instrument London Haydn Quartet play Op 9 with such deep feeling, dynamic subtlety and phrasal sensitivity that even the simplest of ideas become things of wonder. Passages of generic cadencing and decoration that often pass by unacknowledged by other ensembles sound utterly magical here, the enhanced expressive flexibility of gut strings revelled in to the full' (Classic FM Magazine *****)

'A sonority that seems brighter and less astringent than that produced by 'period' ensembles, but one that is still far closer to what we assume to be the timbre of an eighteenth-century quartet ... Hyperion's sound is ideal: close, clear and free of harshness and any intrusive breathing. In short, this is an interesting and possibly controversial release, but one that shows The London Haydn Quartet to be thoughtful, provocative and technically accomplished' (International Record Review)

'I quickly warmed to the pure, glowing sound of gut strings played perfectly in tune, and to the ensemble's delicacy of nuance and sensitivity to harmonic colour, treating the listener as a privileged eavesdropper ... Catherine Manson is a graceful and nimble leader ... The results are delightfully witty and spirited. Recorded in the warm, sympatheic acoustic of St Paul's Deptford, these performances should win new friends for an undeservedly neglected set' (Gramophone)

'The London Haydn Quartet plays lovely period instruments in a gentle manner, emphasizing the beauty of the music - highly evocative' (Fanfare, USA)

'On this superb double disc set from Hyperion, the London Haydn Quartet's playing of the set is intense, passionate and revelatory. It is difficult to imagine finer interpretations of these occasionally formulaic but always melodically colourful works. The quartet - comprising Catherine Manson and Margaret Faultless on violin, James Boyd on viola and Jonathan Cohen on cello - play on gut strings with classical bows. There is to be found none of the reserve or prissiness that can sometimes characterise period performance. The sound here is bright, resonant and gritty, the lack of vibrato adding a spicy, piquant tang to the ensemble timbre. The bowing is confident; tempi are firm and steady, yet subtle inflections and rhythmic manipulations crank up the drama to breaking point' (MusicOHM.com)


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Works Details

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : String Quartets (6), Op. 9, H. 3/19-24
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Deptford (01/28/2007-01/31/2007)
  • Running Time: 128 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1769-1770