One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Availability

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
String Quartets, Op. 50, Hob. III/44/49 ‘Prussian Quartets’ (1787):
No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 50, Hob. III/44 [18.42]
No. 2 in C major, Op. 50, Hob. III/45 [21.04]
No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 50, Hob. III/46 [19.11]
No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 50, Hob. III/47 [18.09]
No. 5 in F major, ‘The Dream’ Op. 50, Hob. III/48 [15.25]
No. 6 in D major, ‘The Frog’ Op. 50, Hob. III/49 [18.20]
Quatuor Za´de (Charlotte Juillard (1st violin); Leslie Boulin Raulet (2nd violin); Sarah Chenaf (viola); Juliette Salmona (cello))
rec. February, July, September 2015, Arsenal, Metz, France
NOMADMUSIC NMM027 [59.05 + 52.01]

Hearing Haydn’s string quartets is one of the finest experiences in music; especially when they are played in recital. It can also be uplifting to attend recitals by new generation string quartets. Their youthful enthusiasm and freshness of performance often communicate a special sense of discovery. Certainly those qualities apply here with this new release by Quatuor Za´de a relatively young ensemble founded in 2010 recording works by Haydn in its fifth year as a quartet.

Za´de released its first recording in 2014 on the NoMadMusic label. They focused on a 20th century programme of quartets from Janßček and Martinů. For the present release Za´de has elected to record Haydn’s opus 50 set. Written in 1787 Haydn dedicated the set to the new King Frederick William II of Prussia hence the commonly used title: the ‘Prussian Quartets’. Mindful that his royal dedicatee was an amateur cellist it is no surprise that Haydn ensured prominent and interesting cello parts in the set. Evidently Haydn led his publishers in London and Vienna to think that each was the first to publish the set.

Haydn’s opus 50 is rather less known out of his substantial output of around 80 string quartets. It’s no surprise that from the group of six it’s the named quartets The Dream and The Frog that receive the most performances. Despite the relative neglect there is a marked purity to these beautifully written scores with the four instruments achieving a noticeable equality.

Here Za´de convincingly conveys Haydn’s range of expression from rustic earthiness to convivial wit to lyrical tenderness. Broadly speaking the opening Allegros are played by Za´de in a briskly invigorating, rather determined manner - forceful when need. Occasionally showing a slight tentativeness especially in the B flat major work the affectionate Adagios have a sunny disposition, warm and tranquil with a sense of relaxation after a good lunch. Haydn’s dancing Menuettos feel good-humoured and frequently have the air of a strutting peacock. In the Finales Za´de generates a jaunty rather restless quality with no shortage of determination and I have to mention the F sharp minor score for its masterly Fugue. Throughout the set a little more tonal variation from the players would have been the icing on the cake. The engineers provide vividly clear sound and although as close as they dare the balance is excellent.

Over the years the Lindsay String Quartet recorded a considerable amount of Haydn for ASV establishing a special affinity for Haydn's works. Demonstrating such high integrity and maintaining an impressive grip the Lindsays' account remains my first choice in the opus 50 ‘Prussian’ String Quartets.

Nevertheless this is a quite outstanding Haydn release from Quatuor Za´de and one I will surely play often. I shall certainly seek out its Czech album and one wonders to whose music Za´de will turn to next.

Michael Cookson



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger