Buchberger Quartett

Haydn: String Quartets Op. 9

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AllMusic Review by James Leonard

Although Haydn's six String Quartets, Op. 9, are often thought of as not quite mature, that is, not quite worthy, works by the composer apparently nobody told the Buchberger Quartett because in this sparkling set, the works seem fully mature and absolutely worthy of the first master of the Viennese classical style. That's not to say that the performances don't have youthful energy and enthusiasm. With high-spirited Allegros and devil-may-care Prestos, the Buchberger Quartett certainly grants the works the full measure of vigor. And that's not to say that the performances don't have youthful emotion and sentiment. With soulful Adagios and deeply felt Largos, the Buchberger Quartett surely grants the works' last drop of feeling. But for the Buchberger Quartett, the six quartets Haydn composed in his late twenties are, for all their youthful energy and emotion, still mature and worthy works. With a keen ensemble, a warm tone, a wonderful wit, and a robust sense of rhythm, the Buchberger Quartett is able to articulate the inner life of Haydn's early masterpieces, finding the same poise, the same humor, the same elegance, and the same intellectual brilliance in his Opus 9 quartets as most quartets find in his Opus 76 quartets. In this first volume in a complete set of Haydn's quartets, the Buchberger Quartett proves itself eminent Haydn players, and this set takes its place with the Tatrai and Kodaly recordings among the finest ever recorded. Recorded in 2003, 2004, and 2005, Brilliant's sound is rich, ripe, and round.

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