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List: Great Haydn Quartets. Keller
Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Nationality: Austrian
Born: March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria Died: May 31, 1809, Vienna (age 77)

String Quartet in D major, Op. 71, "Apponyi", No. 2, Hob.III:70

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
6:38 I. Adagio - Allegro
5:29 II. Adagio cantabile
2:24 III. Menuetto. Allegro
3:32 IV. Finale. Allegretto
Duration: 19 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1793 (age 60-61)
Published: c. 1796 (age 63-64)
Dedication: Count Apponyi
4 recordings, 16 videos
autoplay
5:58
Kodály Quartet
I. Adagio - Allegro
5:48
Kodály Quartet
II. Adagio cantabile
2:31
Kodály Quartet
III. Menuetto. Allegro
3:35
Kodály Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegretto
8:33
Festetics Quartet
I. Adagio - Allegro
5:40
Festetics Quartet
II. Adagio cantabile
2:54
Festetics Quartet
III. Menuetto. Allegro
3:36
Festetics Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegretto
6:15
Angeles String Quartet
I. Adagio - Allegro
4:57
Angeles String Quartet
II. Adagio cantabile
2:29
Angeles String Quartet
III. Menuetto. Allegro
3:29
Angeles String Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegretto
6:28
Tátrai Quartet
I. Adagio - Allegro
5:32
Tátrai Quartet
II. Adagio cantabile
2:18
Tátrai Quartet
III. Menuetto. Allegro
3:43
Tátrai Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegretto
From Kai Christiansen

Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809

String Quartet in D major, Op. 71, No. 2, 1793

Music appears to be an infinitely renewable resource in that the human capability for ever-new musical expression seems inexhaustible. This property is seemingly demonstrable even within the work of certain prodigious composers like Bach or Haydn where, within even a single genre, we are presented with an endless variety of riches. Haydn is famous not only for essentially inventing the string quartet but also for turning out a large number of masterworks in the form, each a unique individual example novel in its own way. Most knowledgeable enthusiasts will agree that Haydn wrote around 30 "great" quartets and yet, without any particularly radical changes, they comfortably fit within a relatively modest range of style and expression. Still, they are testament to Haydn's endless powers of invention and musical entertainment as he gradually evolved the string quartet from the intimate chamber salon to the public concert hall.

Haydn's six quartets of 1793 (published in two sets of three as Op. 71 and Op. 74) are regarded as the first string quartets written for the concert-going public rather than the exclusive noble connoisseur. Haydn had just completed his first international "tour" of London where he was celebrated as Europe's great composer, fêted not only by royalty and nobility, but loudly cheered by the adoring masses in large concert venues. Haydn's last 14 quartets (comprising Op. 71, 74, 76 and 77) all show a new sense of adventure, virtuosity and extroversion reflecting this more public performance context and the need to project. In some ways more "symphonic" and even "romantic" than their predecessors, these final quartets begin to establish the tradition of mature classical chamber music as the foundation of the modern repertoire.

One new feature found in all six of these quartets is the first movement introduction, a brief fanfare or tutti unison as if to loudly announce the start of the performance. Naturally, these are not mere flourishes, but integral content for the ensuing musical content. In the case of Op. 71, No. 2 in D major, the introduction is a full four-measure adagio theme that becomes the important first subject of the sonata-allegro form. This quartet also unveils another "modern" evolution at least symbolically suggesting the migration from intimate drawing room to concert hall: the quickening of the minuet from Allegretto to Allegro and the dawn of the energetic scherzo.

Often known as the "Apponyi" quartets due to Haydn's dedication to the Austrian Count Apponyi, these quartets continue to demonstrate Haydn's evolving sophistication in this high art of Viennese Classicism. He makes use of more adventurous key changes (within and across movements) for dramatic effects. He continues his formal and structural innovations often based on the continuity and variation of a featured motif. And as a hallmark of style, Haydn continues to blend the gallant and learned, homophony melody and polyphonic counterpoint in a fluid admixture based on constant change, a fresh, expressive dynamism that would eventually be regarded as the harbinger of Romanticism.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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