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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66621
Recording details: December 1991
Holmbury St Mary Women's Institute Hall, Surrey, United Kingdom
Produced by Roy Mowatt
Engineered by Keith Warren
Release date: November 1992
Total duration: 27 minutes 11 seconds

'The Salomon's beautiful playing of these important masterpieces make this set indispensable' (Gramophone)

'The dedication, beauty and vitality of the interpretations are of the highest order… a Haydn monument as important to the 90s as the one by the Pro Arte was to the 30s' (Chicago Tribune)

String Quartet in G minor, Op 20 No 3
1772; Sun Quartet No 3

Poco adagio  [10'04]
Allegro molto  [6'03]

Other recordings available for download
The London Haydn Quartet
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Reflecting the preoccupation with the minor mode in Haydn’s so-called Sturm und Drang symphonies of the years around 1770, the Op 20 set, uniquely, contains two minor-keyed quartets. They could hardly be more strongly contrasted. The outer movements of No 3 in G minor are astringent, nervy, sometimes bizarrely elliptical. In the opening Allegro con spirito, whose eccentric main theme (in an eccentric texture, with viola doubling first violin at the octave) comprises a four-bar plus a three-bar phrase, Haydn veers abruptly between hectic desperation and recurrent buffo-like fragments whose effect is mocking, even sinister, rather than jolly. In the exposition and development a little wriggling unison figure, like a stage aside, adds a touch of grotesquerie. The music’s waywardness reaches its climax in the recapitulation, which drastically reworks the events of the exposition and expands a brief snatch of violin recitative into an almost hysterical cri de cœur.

The desolate minuet, its unease enhanced by the pervasive five-bar phrases, is relieved by its exquisite, lulling E flat major trio. Both minuet and trio fade away strangely on the brink of C minor, an effect that Haydn replicates in the unsettling pianissimo close of the finale. Though written against the background of sonata form, the Poco adagio, in G major, is essentially a fantasy on a single ardent melody. (A rare surviving sketch for Op 20 reveals that Haydn originally conceived the melody for cello rather than first violin.) Each of its reappearances is characterized by an evocative new sonority, typical of the composer’s heightened sensitivity to tone colour throughout the Op 20 quartets.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011

Other albums featuring this work
'Haydn: String Quartets Op 20' (CDA67877)
Haydn: String Quartets Op 20
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDA67877  2CDs for the price of 1  

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