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Haydn: String Quartets, Vol. 1 - Quartets Op. 20/1-6 / Doric String Quartet

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Magazine, December 2014
Thoughtfulness is uppermost. Allied to precision in articulation is a flexibility in the scansion and shaping of phrases, of notes timed through a remarkable understanding of rubato, of a range of expressive resilience that gives even the smallest of episodes in a long line their own character without distorting structure or disturbing flow.

Financial Times, 5th December 2014
The musicians of the Doric String Quartet respond with imagination to each fresh idea, bringing into play a lightness of touch, much spirit and - this being Haydn - wit. Above all, they fill the two-disc set with affection for Haydn's inexhaustible creativity.

The Telegraph, 27th October 2014
The spirit and stylistic understanding that the Doric brings to this music is a constant joy, coupled with clarity of articulation, refined but unfussy nuances of dynamics and emphasis, and a thorough appreciation of the instrumental democracy and conversational ease that Haydn established in this music and which made it such a landmark in the art of quartet-writing.

BBC Music Magazine, January 2015
The Doric Quartet, making sparing use of vibrato, play with much sensitivity. Their slow movements, in particular, are beautifully done...But elsewhere a determination to characterise the music all too often leads to exaggerated pauses and tempo fluctuations that threaten its coherence.

The Doric String Quartet, one of the finest young chamber ensembles in the world today, present the first volume in their Haydn series, the six great Op. 20 Quartets (1772), each one a unique masterpiece. This opus introduced compositional techniques that radically and permanently transformed the genre. As well as having already produced a string of acclaimed Chandos recordings, the quartet has been widely praised for its live performances of Haydn's works. The Sunday Telegraph wrote that 'Haydn and the Doric are a perfect match...terrific panache and perception...

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
This release leaves me in a position I have never been in before in over 40 years of critical writing about music. This album is an outstanding realization of a musical approach. Yet the performances are so good on their own terms that I find myself relaxing into them and suspending judgement as I listen.


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