Many of Haydn's string quartets, and especially the early ones, are more like violin concertos with string trio accompaniment. That being the case, a successful recording of the early Haydn quartets requires not only an exceptionally clean and virtuosic first violin player, but a sensitive and well-balanced ensemble on the whole. The Buchberger Quartet possesses all of these qualities in abundance, and this recording of the Opp. 33 and 42 quartets reflects those skills. The works presented are quite charming, and the Buchberger's interpretations of them are neither overindulgent nor superficial. Articulation is necessarily pristine and unified; balance is generally quite pleasing, although there are times when the cello is obscured.
The liner notes, written by first violinist and namesake Hubert Buchberger, are exceptionally informative, giving a wonderful historical background and context for the quartets. It is refreshing to see a quartet demonstrating its historical understanding of the works being performed.