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Hyperion Records

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The Thames and the Tower of London supposedly on the King's Birthday (detail) (1771) by Samuel Scott (c1702-1772)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund, USA / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67722
Recording details: August 2008
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: June 2009
Total duration: 22 minutes 41 seconds

String Quartet in F major, Op 17 No 2
1771; recorded from the London edition published by Welcker circa 1774

Moderato  [7'52]
Adagio  [6'33]
Allegro molto  [4'42]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Of all the first movements of Op 17, that of No 2 comes closest to the flamboyant, first-violin-dominated style of Op 9. Yet Haydn provides plenty of interest for the lower parts, whether in the immediate expansion of the ardent main (and virtually sole) theme, the tight contrapuntal weave at the opening of the development, or the poetic deflection to F minor near the start of the recapitulation. The minuet, growing from ‘rustic’ two-part writing to a full four-part texture, is as imposing as that in No 1. The trio wittily reinterprets the final phrase of the minuet, reharmonizing it (in D minor rather than F major), and then developing it in imitative sequences for first and second violins. After a touching Adagio that could have strayed from a violin concerto, the finale draws ever-new meanings from its laconic opening motif, transmuting it into a lyrical second theme and then working it in a free contrapuntal texture, kick-started by the cello.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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