Hyperion Records

String Quartet in E flat major, Op 17 No 3
composer
1771; recorded from the London edition published by Welcker circa 1774

Recordings
'Haydn: String Quartets Op 17' (CDA67722)
Haydn: String Quartets Op 17
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDA67722  2CDs for the price of 1  
Details
Movement 1: Andante grazioso
Track 5 on CDA67722 CD1 [7'33] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 2: Menuetto – Trio: Allegretto
Track 6 on CDA67722 CD1 [3'33] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 3: Adagio
Track 7 on CDA67722 CD1 [11'09] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 4: Allegro di molto
Track 8 on CDA67722 CD1 [3'47] 2CDs for the price of 1

String Quartet in E flat major, Op 17 No 3  

String Quartet in E flat major, Op 17 No 3
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The first movement of the E flat major quartet, No 3, subjects a homely theme to four decorative variations that gave Tomasini ample scope to display his ‘taste’ and virtuosity. The minuet, saturated by its opening motif, deals in odd phrase lengths. Only at the very end do we get a balanced four-bar phrase, sounded pianissimo by the first violin in its highest register. The picturesquely scored trio (opening with second violin and cello two octaves apart, against viola drones and oscillating first-violin figuration) simultaneously evokes bagpipes and pealing bells. Although the Adagio, in A flat, is once again essentially a wordless aria for Tomasini, its textures and harmonies (at one point touching the esoteric regions of G flat major and minor) are richer than in any of the other Op 17 slow movements. The entertaining finale, too, is one of the best in the set. Haydn is soon working its chattering theme in airy imitation, and then tightens the contrapuntal weave further in the development.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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