Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20 Nos. 4-6 Chiaroscuro Quartet
- Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20 No. 4, Hob. III:34:
- 1I. Allegro di molto11:09
- 2II. Un poco adagio e affettuoso08:31
- 3III. Menuet alla zingarese. Allegretto01:59
- 4IV. Presto e scherzando07:36
- String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20 No. 5, Hob. III:35:
- 5I. Moderato11:38
- 6II. Menuet04:21
- 7III. Adagio04:57
- 8IV. Finale. Fuga a 2 soggetti03:29
- String Quartet in A Major, Op. 20 No. 6, Hob. III:36:
- 9I. Allegro di molto e scherzando09:26
- 10II. Adagio04:54
- 11III. Menuet02:01
- 12IV. Fuga con 3 soggetti. Allegro03:39
Info zu Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20 Nos. 4-6
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, however – 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 instalment, the last three quartets of the set are performed by the Chiaroscuro Quartet, a highly international 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’.
Formed in 2005, the Chiaroscuro Quartet performs music of the Classical period with historical instruments and approach.
Recently the quartet played their first concert at the Edinburgh International Festival followed by their debut in Germany as part of the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Highlights in the past took the young ensemble to London's Wigmore Hall, York Early Music Centre, The Sage Gateshead (recorded for BBC Radio 3), Auditorium du Louvre Paris, Théâtre du Jeu-de-Paume in Aix-en-Provence, Grand Théâtre de Dijon, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon and a residency in Aldeburgh.
Following the critically acclaimed release of their first album in September 2011, the Chiaroscuro Quartet released its second recording for the French label Aparté in April 2013. The CD including Beethoven's Quartetto serioso, Mozart's Quartet K. 428 and Adagio and Fugue K. 546 received four out of four possible f in the French magazine Télérama and was given the best note for its interpretation in Germany's major magazine for chamber music Ensemble.
In the coming months the quartet will return to the BBC Radio 3 for a lunchtime concert in London and appear on stage of the Nikolaisaal Potsdam and Kunstverein Wiesloch. Concerts in the Netherlands (Concertgebouw Amsterdam), Belgium (Ghent, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal), France (Clermont-Ferrand and Pau) and Spain (Madrid and Bilbao) are scheduled for early 2014.
Since 2009 the Quartet has held a residency at Port-Royal-des-Champs dedicated to Mozart's quartets.