Haydn’s Genius

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 74


  • String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 1 in C major
  • String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 2 in F major
  • String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 3 in G minor ‘The Rider’

Performed by the Takács Quartet

These quartets date from 1793 and were written when Haydn returned home to Vienna after a visit to London which had cemented his international fame as a composer. Mozart had died in 1791…

Haydn wrote six string quartets for Count Anton Apponyi, a chamberlain at the Imperial Court. This set was ultimately broken up into two groups of three and sold to separate publishers, thus becoming the Op 71 and Op 74 Quartets

These amazing quartets possess an orchestral sonority, and the frequent modulations, dynamic variations and increasingly virtuosic writing can be derived from elements of the six London Symphonies. They demonstrate the composer’s astonishing elegance, lyricism and his immense skill in connecting the profound with the comic and light-hearted.

In these excellent interpretations, the Takács Quartet members display an absolute unanimity of tone and style, and they underscore their reputation as one of today’s greatest string quartets.

Track Listings:
1. Allegro (String Quartet in C major Op 74 No 1)
2. Andantino grazioso
3. . Menuetto: Allegro-Trio
4. Vivace

5. Allegro spiritoso (String Quartet in F major Op 74 No 2)
6. Andante grazioso
7. Menuetto-Trio
8. Presto

9. Allegro (String Quartet in G minor ‘Rider’ Op 74 No 3)
10. Largo assai
11. Menuetto: Allegretto-Trio
12. Allegro con brio

I was unable to locate a video of the Takacs group performing Haydn. Here, however, is the Beethoven String Quartet No. 14 as played by the Takacs Quartet:



Here is a video for you of the Jerusalem Quartet – Joseph Haydn String Quartet Op.20, number 5; 4th movement, Fuga



Tags: Joseph Haydn, String quartet, Takacs Quartet

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