The Lindsays

Haydn: String Quartets Op. 33 Nos. 3, 5 & 6

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In their survey of Haydn's string quartets for ASV, the Lindsays have set about the business of restoring these Classical masterpieces to their proper place in the repertoire, with all their brilliant wit and brusqueness intact, and without undue sweetening or romanticizing. The point, it seems clear, is to bring Haydn out from under the familiar shadows of Mozart and Beethoven, and to render his quartets as the true models of quartet writing, not as light Rococo divertissements or tamer antecedents of greater works. The Lindsays are sharp in their characterizations of Op. 33, Nos. 3, 5, and 6, and their lean textures, crisp articulation, transparent repartee, and pungent attacks distinguish these performances from more commercially pretty or polished versions. This Haydn may be too dry for some tastes, and the experience of hearing the Lindsays is certainly invigorating, not relaxing. Yet with some preparation for occasional intonation problems and occasionally gritty playing, the listener may find these performances quite enjoyable, even revelatory, and choose the Lindsays first when starting a collection. ASV offers fine sound quality, though the volume needs to be raised slightly to hear every detail.

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