Haydn: String Quartets Op 17
performed from the London edition published by Welcker circa 1774

Haydn’s String Quartets Op 17 were written during his most effusively productive period, during his tenure in the service of the Esterházy family. He had a magnificent group of musicians at his disposal, including the young virtuoso violinist Luigi Tomasini, whose genius can be traced throughout these works, particularly in the achingly beautiful melodies of the adagio movements. These string quartets mark Haydn’s emergence as an indisputably great composer. They have a seriousness of intent and an increasing mastery of rhetoric and thematic development that are a world away from the lightweight divertimento-quartets that he was formerly producing.

They are performed here on period instruments by the dazzling London Haydn Quartet, whose disc of the Op 9 quartets drew the most extravagant praise from the critics. Their second disc has been eagerly awaited, and comes as part of Hyperion’s celebrations of ‘Haydn year’.

CDA67722  147 minutes 22 seconds (2 discs)
‘These musicians arrest attention by the variety of their bowing and articulation. They lean into notes, swelling and contracting the sound … to heighten the potential for expression … a ver ...
‘Those who want a 'period' performance should not hesitate—they are unlikely to hear any better of its kind. Articulation is light, precise yet full of nuance; vibrato is scarcely detectable yet inton ...
‘Playing with gut strings and classical bows, the London Haydn Quartet bring both freshness and depth to the six works that the composer wrote at Esterhazy in 1771’ (The Daily Telegraph)