Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20 Nos. 1-3 Chiaroscuro Quartet
- Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809): String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 20 No. 1:
- 1I. Allegro moderato09:27
- 2II. Menuetto: Allegretto03:25
- 3III. Affetuoso e sostenuto06:40
- 4IV. Finale: Presto03:38
- String Quartet in C major, Op. 20 No. 2:
- 5I. Moderato09:15
- 6II. Capriccio: Adagio05:33
- 7III. Minuet: Allegretto03:30
- 8IV. Fuga a quattro soggetti: Allegro04:01
- String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20 No. 3:
- 9I. Allegro con spirito09:47
- 10II. Minuet: Allegretto03:58
- 11III. Poco adagio08:16
- 12IV. Finale: Allegro di molto05:41
Info zu Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20 Nos. 1-3
The six 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. For all their iconic status the Op.20 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 first volume, the first 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 its unique sound – described in The Observer as ‘a shock to the ears of the best kind’ – is admired by audiences and critics all over Europe. Appearing for the first time on BIS, the Chiaroscuro Quartet has a growing and acclaimed discography and in 2015 received Germany’s most prestigious CD award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
Alina Ibragimova, violin
Pablo Hernán Benedí, violin
Emilie Hörnlund, viola
Claire Thirion, cello
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.