Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA66622
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: 31 minutes 24 seconds

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

'Je vous conseillerai de jeter un coup d'oreille sur cette version des Quatuors du Soleil. Elle vaut le détour! (Répertoire, France)

String Quartet in D major, Op 20 No 4
1772; Sun Quartet No 4

Allegro di molto  [12'17]

Other recordings available for download
The London Haydn Quartet
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
No 4 in D major is the most obviously ‘tuneful’ of Op 20, looking ahead to later Haydn in its incorporation of popular-style melodies. The expansive yet sinewy opening Allegro di molto makes mysterious/dramatic capital of its initial ‘drum’ motif, always likely to pivot the music to an unexpected tonal area. With the instruments often paired in mellifluous thirds and sixths (as in the dialogues between upper and lower voices in the second group of themes), the textures sound more ‘Mozartian’ to us than usual in Haydn’s quartets. As in several of his symphonies from the 1770s, Haydn brings back the opening theme in the home key quite near the start of the development, a ploy that might fool the unwary (though hardly the connoisseurs in his select audience) into thinking that the recapitulation has actually arrived.

The poignant D minor Un poco adagio affettuoso is Haydn’s only variation movement cast entirely in the minor key (and there is no parallel in Mozart or Beethoven). The second half of the theme, with each instrument rising slowly by step, reaches an almost excruciating pitch of intensity. Of the three variations, the first is fashioned as a fretful dialogue between second violin and viola, the second exploits the cello over its whole compass, and the third dissolves the theme into triplets for the first violin. After a reprise of the original theme, shorn of its repeats, Haydn expands the scale in an astonishing, unprecedented fantasia-cum-coda that stresses the dissonant melodic shapes within the theme and, in the fragmentary final bars, pushes the music to the brink of incoherence.

Returning to a world of robust normality, the minuet, Allegretto alla zingarese (‘gypsy-style’), and Presto scherzando finale mine Haydn’s favourite Hungarian gypsy vein with irresistible wit and élan. In the former a riot of offbeat accents keep the listener guessing as to whether this is a minuet or a gavotte. In pointed contrast, the trio deals in perfectly regular four-bar phrases, with a jaunty cello solo against the simplest of accompaniments. The finale lives up to its scherzando billing in music of controlled waywardness and harmonic surprise, treating its impish opening motif in the free, informal contrapuntal textures that are among the chief delights of Haydn’s mature quartet style.

from notes by Richard Wigmore İ 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  

   English   Français   Deutsch