Haydn: String Quartets Op 20
performed from the Artaria edition published in Vienna in 1801

Haydn’s remarkable Opus 20 quartets are rightfully regarded as landmarks in the history of the string quartet. Throughout the six contrasting quartets the composer employs compositional techniques that were to shape and define the genre. We witness a deviation in style from the lightness and wit of his previous quartets to a mood of emotional intensity and darker musical imagery.

The six Opus 20 works are all individually exquisite masterpieces and demonstrate a composer at the height of creative maturity. They display an astonishing consistency of excellence and a huge variety of form and style, contrasting dynamics and relentless energy. Increasingly polyphonic textures are infused with a sense of drama, and the cello is often freed from its basso continuo roots to a position of prominence.

The London Haydn Quartet is the ideal advocate for these works and gives elegant, radiant and exhilaratingly assured performances.

CDA67877  159 minutes 41 seconds (2 discs)
‘An ensemble unique in collective insight, in tempo-management, articulation of melodic design and assessment of harmonic weight … provocative interpretations of enthralling magnitude’ (Gramophone)
‘The commitment of this string quartet to one composer pays off. Their period tone suits Haydn's melodious down-to-earth writing and they capture the urbane wit and complex intelligence of Vienna's fi ...
‘The players of the London Haydn Quartet, formed in 2001, refer modestly in their booklet notes to gut strings and Classical bows, saying relatively little about performing practice, but in this respe ...