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Hyperion Records

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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: 20 minutes 19 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 A major, Op 20 No 6
1772; Sun Quartet No 6

Adagio cantabile  [5'59]

Other recordings available for download
The London Haydn Quartet
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The final quartets of Haydn’s Op 9 and Op 17 sets both open with a buoyant, alfresco movement in 6/8 ‘hunting’ rhythm. In Op 20, No 6 in A major follows suit with an irrepressible movement that outdoes its predecessors in wit and harmonic sleight-of-hand, as when the ‘second subject’ deflects from E minor to D major before working round to the anticipated key of E major. At the end of the exposition and recapitulation Haydn again evokes musette drones, with the leader playing in double stopping. The composer marked the movement scherzando, as he might well have done the dancing final fugue on three subjects. The music’s comic verve—matched among fugues only by the rollicking finale of Verdi’s Falstaff—reaches its acme when Haydn gleefully turns the principal theme on its head: the technique is ‘learned’, the effect anything but.

The middle movements of No 6 are, by Haydn’s standards, relatively well behaved. Reverting to the style of the slow movements of Op 9 and Op 17, the E major Adagio cantabile is a soulful aria for first violin, expressively embellished when the first section is repeated, and enriched by dark glints of viola colour. With its gracious succession of four-bar phrases (with the opening phrase repeated to round off the movement—one of Haydn’s beginning-as-ending puns), the minuet is the only one in Op 20 that might, just, be danced. The beautiful, veiled trio is, like that in No 1, literally a trio, though here it is the second violin who is silent while the other three instruments play sotto voce on their lowest string.

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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