These are marvellous, superlative performances of most endearing and
endurable music. Haydn's quartets when played like this have no equal. There
is such an elegance and polish in the Lindsays' playing as well as a remarkable
logic and coherence so that the musical form and structure is clear and
beautifully set out.
The slow movement of the G Major is very telling and often quite moving.
And I do admire the Lindsays' choice of tempo which is always well judged.
No music drags and the allegro movements are just that. There is never
any excess, self-indulgence, effeminacy at cadences which ridicules
baroque music; in fact, no quirky mannerisms. Even the slightly eccentric
presto minuet in the G Major is played 'straight' and therefore
makes its point precisely. The finale has some splendid interplay.
And the recorded sound could hardly be better.
The magnificent D minor prefigures the romantic style of
composition easing away from the classical and quasi-baroque.
From the very opening we know that the Lindsays are going to bring out
the passion of this glorious movement. And they do. The counterpoint is realised
impeccably and the high spirits of the finale are expertly caught.
The Emperor is not a favourite of mine, but it is also played very
well indeed. It is something of an introspective work often described as
ceremonial music which genre does not suit the string quartet.
Nonetheless this disc is heartily recommended. I cannot imagine better