Notes and Editorial Reviews
These are excellent performances of Haydn's last two (and a half) quartets. The Takács Quartet has a real feeling for the music's style, and these players know, for example, not to slog in exaggerated fashion through Op. 77 No. 1's opening march while still paying plenty of attention to good rhythm and wide-ranging dynamics (check out the opening of the development section). The scherzos--although Haydn still calls them minuets, they are anything but, except of course in Op. 103--have lots of energy but also an equally fine feeling for the long line, especially in Op 77 No. 2. No matter how rambunctious the music gets, the phrasing never turns choppy or crude. In the slow movements Haydn's gentle lyricism comes to the fore, and that
of No. 1 is noteworthy for some absolutely exquisite contributions from the cello. You also won't hear a better account of No. 2's finale: light, fleet, but with bite, like a delightfully tart sorbet. At Australian Eloquence's budget price, and with excellent sonics to boot, I can recommend this disc without hesitation.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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