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Hyperion Records

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Haydn and Salomon painted by Thomas Hardy.
Reproduced by permission of The Royal College of Music, London
Track(s) taken from CDA66065
Recording details: July 1982
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: September 1987
Total duration: 20 minutes 26 seconds

'Marvellous works… Iovely performances, beautifully recorded' (The Monthly Guide to Recorded Music)

String Quartet in D major, Op 71 No 2
composer
Apponyi Quartet No 2

Adagio  [5'28]
Allegretto  [3'53]

Other recordings available for download
Takács Quartet
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The brief slow introduction that prefaces the D major Quartet, Op 71 No 2, is a feature unique to Haydn’s mature string quartets. That introduction, with its twofold octave drop for the first violin in its opening bars, subtly anticipates the Allegro’s energetic main subject, which has falling octave leaps for all four players in turn. The octave skip permeates the entire movement: even the ‘bouncing’ closing theme, whose popular style offers such apparent contrast, has strategically placed sforzato accents to emphasize the tune’s octave outer limits. At the start of the recapitulation Haydn follows his plunging octaves with a magical moment of hushed stillness, in which the music turns to the minor, and the octaves now ascend in a chain that passes from the bottom of the texture to the top.

The slow movement is one of those great Adagios of Haydn’s late years that seem to unfold in the form of a seamless meditation on its opening theme. The piece is ostensibly a sonata form, but one so broad that the recapitulation could not be allowed to mirror its first half too closely without running the risk of wholesale repetition. Instead, the reprise, following a splendid excursion into a richly sonorous C major, is cast as an ornate variation.

The assertive minuet (its theme ‘fills in’ the octave leaps from the first movement, though their presence is still palpable) meets its obverse side in the trio—a mysterious piece that conspicuously seems to lack a theme. As for the finale, it sets out as a gentle Allegretto; but following a middle section in the minor, the reprise accelerates in its final pages, to bring the work to a brilliant conclusion that has all four players scurrying in fortissimo octaves.

from notes by Misha Donat © 2011


Other albums featuring this work
'Haydn: String Quartets Op 71' (CDA67793)
Haydn: String Quartets Op 71

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