Buchberger Quartett

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 17

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After having cemented what was to become the archetypal string quartet format in his quartets of Op. 9, Haydn's six quartets of Op. 17 find the master further refining his use of the four instruments while increasing the complexity of individual parts as well as their interaction with one another. The first violin remains quite dominant throughout, but other instruments are allowed to come out of the shadows more frequently and play more than a purely accompanimental role. These works should in no way be considered immature or transitional compositions; if Haydn had stopped writing quartets after Op. 17, he likely would still have gone down in history as the father of the modern string quartet. All six quartets are remarkably sophisticated and deeply satisfying musically. This two-disc set represents the seventh volume of Haydn quartets performed by the Buchberger Quartet. As in previously released volumes, this ensemble blends an exceptional academic understanding of the score with refined musical insights. Its playing is exuberant throughout without getting carried away. Balance is nicely executed to allow Haydn's increased independence of instruments to shine through. While still technically superior throughout, this volume possess considerably more intonation blemishes than previous installments. These imperfections are forgivable given the many other strengths of the set and listeners who have already collected the first six volumes will delight in the addition of this one.

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