Spectacular Performance of Haydn’s Last 3 String Quartets
This is an amazing CD for several reasons:
- Haydn wrote these lat 3 quartets in 1799; think of it: Mozart had died 8 years earlier! In fact a lot of people who lived in the 1790’s rarely lived to Haydn’s age. People simply died a lot younger. Medicine was just emerging; in the 1700’s treatment for most illnesses involved bleeding out the patient, so his/her body would make new blood, and (perhaps) recover! Yet… Haydn lived from 1732 to 1809! The composer can attribute his longevity to several factors, which I’ll return to in a future Post or Podcast… Anyway, more on these quartet’s: There are actually two quartets that were completed, and one for which Haydn wrote only 2 movements. The Op. 77, numbers 1 and 2 are really amazing compositions in all of Chamber Music. Keep in mind that Beethoven was already on the scene in Vienna; in fact he had studied with Haydn, and Haydn saw in his student the master composer of the future. Listen carefully to the second movement of the Op 77, no. 1 (Adagio), and to the third movement (Andante) of the Op. 77 number 2: You hear there a composer at the height of his abilities, yet also seemingly telling us: My time is coming to an end; my strength is gone, yet I am grateful that Music has been part of my long life…
2. The performers: The so – called “L’Archibudelli”, comprised of: Vera Beths, Violin I; Lucy van Dael, Violin II; Juergen Kussmaul, Viola; and Anner Bylsma, Cello.
3. The instruments these players use, in the order of the players listed above: Violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1727; violin by Nicolo Amati, 1643; Viola by William Forster, 1785; Cello by Matteo Goffriller, 1693. Yes… old and priceless instruments, which together sound like a family choir that have sung together for many years!
This recording has already brought me much happiness. I bet you’ll enjoy it, too!