Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 74

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ALBUM TITLE: Haydn – Strign Quartets Op. 74
WORKS: String Quartets, Op. 74
PERFORMER: The Lindsays
These fine performances of three


of Haydn’s greatest quartets serve

as a reminder of what we have lost

with the Lindsays’ recent decision

to disband. The warmth and

spontaneity of the playing marks

them out as the natural successors

to their direct competitor in this

repertoire, the Amadeus Quartet,

and the gypsy-style exuberance

of Peter Cropper’s violin playing

in the ‘bouncing’ finale of the

famous Rider, Op. 74 No. 3, can

well stand comparison with that

of his Amadeus counterpart,

Norbert Brainin.

In the husky, world-weary tone

the Lindsays find for the minormode

middle section of the slow

movement they actually surpass

their predecessors. Mind you, the

Amadeus’s heart-on-sleeve accounts

of these great works convey a

sense of affection that is uniquely

moving, and I wouldn’t want to be

without them.

The Lindsays observe every

single repeat – somewhat of a

mixed blessing. In Op. 74 No. 1

you get to hear everything twice

over, but at least the repeats are

musically convincing. The same

can’t be said of the second-half repeat in the opening movement of

the two companion-works, where

Haydn constructs a subtle link

between the end of the exposition

and the start of the central section.

To revisit that link following

the movement’s full-blown close

makes no sense, and the repeatmarks

can only be there out of

pure convention. But don’t let that

put you off: these are thoroughly

enjoyable and insightful


performances, not to be missed. Misha Donat