- String Quartets, Vol. 1.
Joseph Haydn’s six Op. 20 string quartets are milestones in the history of chamber music. He wrote them in 1772 for performance by his colleagues at the Esterházy court and not specifically for publication.
Each one of these compositions is a unique masterpiece and the set introduces compositional techniques that radically transformed the genre and shaped it for centuries to come.
Haydn overturned conventional instrumental roles, crafted remarkably original colors and textures, and unlocked new expressive possibilities in these works, which were crucial in establishing the reputation of purely instrumental music.
The exact title of each quartet follows:
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 1 in E flat major
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 2 in C Major
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 3 in G minor
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 4 in D major ‘Sun’
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 5 in F minor
- String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 6 in A Major
Performed by the Doric String Quartet
The range within the quartets is amazing: From the introspective, chorale-like slow movement of No. 1, via the terse and radical quartet No. 3 in G minor, to the comic spirit of the fourth in D major, each of the quartets inhabits a distinct musical world. For many, this is some of the greatest music Haydn ever wrote.
Playing these works is a terrific young ensemble, the Doric String Quartet. As well as having already produced a string of acclaimed recordings, this group has been widely praised for its live performances of Haydn’s works.
The Sunday Telegraph wrote that ‘Haydn and the Doric are a perfect match… Unequivocally, these were performances of terrific panache and perception, seeming to get right under the skin of Haydn’s creative genius’.
Here is the Doric String Quartet performing Haydn’s String Quartet in A Op. 20 No. 6, 1st Movement – Allegro di molto e Scherzando (Indeed a lovely performance):
And next hey there are again in the third movement from the same quartet:
Lastly, here’s the Doric String Quartet in Hugo Wolf’s “Italian Serenade”:
Tags: Doric String quartet, Joseph Haydn, Quartets Op. 20