Haydn’s Pioneering Quartets

I listened this morning to a recording of the String Quartets Opus 20 by Joseph Haydn. What amazing music this is! Haydn showed me a level of his creativity and ingenious ideas that were truly amazing.

The so-called ‘Sun’ quartets of Joseph Haydn are often said to represent an unprecedented development of his string quartet writing, which every other subsequent composer of quartets has been aspiring to achieve.

I listened to these masterpieces morning as performed by the Chiaroscuro Quartet.

These six quartets represent an amazing example for their flexibility, variety and unpredictability. Every bar is full of a sense of musical adventure, a feeling that Haydn is creating bridges between styles and ideas and forging a vision of four-part string writing that draws on every historical source that he knew as well as the furthest reaches of his musical imagination.

Here is some music from this recording:


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