Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Guarneri Quartet
"Haydn: String Quartets op. 77" (Vinyl)

My interest in Haydn's string quartets has enjoyed a brief renaissance as my quartet prepares one of his op. 76 quartets for performance next week.

For most of my time playing, Haydn has been relegated to "sight-reading" and fun for the first violinist only.  While this is true of the volumes of early works that Haydn wrote, in his later years (op. 72, 76, 77) Haydn had demonstrated the sort of musical evolution that maturity brings, building an architecture around all four instruments equally, relying on each role far more than he had earlier in his life.  The late Haydns should be regarded alongside prime examples of Mozart's writing and Beethoven's op. 18.

The Guarneri Quartet, legends in their lifetime, released this album on RCA in 1978.  Its far from the most carefully constructed quartet recording I've heard, but you can still hear the magic present in this amazing quartet.

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