Haydn - ‘Sun’ Quartets, op.20 Vol.2 | BIS BIS2168

Haydn - ‘Sun’ Quartets, op.20 Vol.2

£12.56

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Label: BIS

Cat No: BIS2168

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 30th June 2017

Contents

Works

Haydn, Franz Joseph

String Quartets (6), op.20
» no.4 in D major 'Sun'
» no.5 in F minor
» no.6 in A major

Artists

Chiaroscuro Quartet

Works

Haydn, Franz Joseph

String Quartets (6), op.20
» no.4 in D major 'Sun'
» no.5 in F minor
» no.6 in A major

Artists

Chiaroscuro Quartet

About

The so-called ‘Sun’ quartets of Joseph Haydn’s Op.20 are often said to represent an unprecedented flowering of his string quartet writing, establishing a high watermark to which every other subsequent composer of quartets has paid homage. The six quartets are not a monument of compositional rectitude or propriety, rather, it is rather their flexibility, variety and unpredictability that make them so compelling. Every bar is full of a sense of musical adventure, a palpable feeling that Haydn is creating bridges between styles and ideas and forging a composite 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.

On this second volume, the last three quartets of the set are performed by the Chiaroscuro Quartet, an ensemble formed in 2005 by the violinists Alina Ibragimova (Russia) and Pablo Hernán Benedí (Spain), the Swedish violist Emilie Hörnlund and cellist Claire Thirion from France. Dubbed ‘a trailblazer for the authentic performance of High Classical chamber music’ in Gramophone, the quartet plays on gut strings, and the previous instalment was singled out as a recommended disc by The Strad, whose reviewer described its contents as ‘period-instrument performances of the utmost subtlety and refinement’.

“Where they surpass those earlier ‘period’ performances is in the radiant refinement of their sound, and their suave sensitivity of phrasing…this new CD offers a fascinating range of ‘alternative’ insights and nuances”
- **** BBC Music Magazine, November 2016

“… memorable, too, are their fine line-drawing and acute response to the ebb and flow of harmonic tension…” - Gramophone, Awards Issue 2016

Reviews

Although big contrast is written into the Chiaroscuro name – and with period instruments that show up every gradation, they deliver on that promise – it is always done with exquisite taste. The playing is intense and refined, exploratory and poised. The sound is featherweight, but there is grit and substance when needed. Alina Ibragimova leads with typical grace and ferocity, but this is real chamber music: the attack is immaculate and spirited from all four musicians.  Kate Molleson
The Guardian 22 June 2017

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