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The Haydn Project / Emerson String Quartet


Release Date: 09/18/2001 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471327   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph HaydnWolfgang Amadeus MozartDmitri ShostakovichAntonín Dvorák,   ... 
Performer:  Eugene DruckerLawrence DuttonDavid FinckelPhilip Setzer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 9 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



Initially, I felt slightly irritated by the self-important title – The Haydn Project – given to this selection of comparatively familiar Haydn quartets. After listening for a while, however, it became clear that the title could be justified by the evidently deeply considered interpretations.

The Emersons don’t, as far as I can see, pay too much attention to historically informed performance practice. They don’t share the belief of Quantz and Leopold Mozart that a slur implies a diminuendo, and this can sometimes lead to their missing an important element of contrast and variety, for instance in the Minuet of the Lark Quartet (Op 64 No 5). It’s the minuets, indeed, that
Read more would benefit most from a more ‘authentic’ approach, from a lightening of tone between stressed beats so that the music has a real lilt – the Quatuor Mosaďques achieve this most beautifully in the Presto minuet of Op 77 No 1. Next to them the Emersons, despite their neatness and perfect integration, sound just a little tame. The squeezing of four quartets onto the first disc comes at the price of omitting the long second repeats in each of the first movements. The only ‘big’ repeat they make is on the opening Allegro of Op 76 No 2, enhancing the impact of this great piece; the five missing repeats (only Op 77 No 1 lacks this feature) would have each had a similar effect.

These quibbles aside, it’s a magnificent set. The Emersons’ collective brilliance and control help the famous moto perpetuo finale of Op 64 No 5 to sound irresistibly lively and poised. They make us appreciate every aspect of Haydn’s wit – sometimes admitting an element of the grotesque, in the last movement of Op 54 No 1, for example, but generally depending on excellent timing and an unexaggerated pointing of the surprises. The joke finale of Op 33 No 2 proceeds for most of its distance with gentle good humour, throwing into greater relief the amusing effect of the ever-lengthening silences in the final bars.

The players’ empathy for the music, moreover, shows in the way they latch on to the serious expressive character that lies behind the high spirits and virtuosity of Haydn’s style. The spacious account of the first Allegro of Op 74 No 3 gives equal weight to the powerful unison opening, the wistful theme that follows and the graceful, major-key second subject. The melancholic grandeur of the following Largo assai is equally well captured, the striking violin ornaments delivered with a wonderful air of spontaneity, and the celebrated tremolando passage imparting a real sense of a dark, romantic landscape. Other slow movements are equally fine – I’d single out especially the Adagio of Op 64 No 5, notable for its expressive warmth, and the sweet and elegant slow Siciliano in Op 20 No 5. The intimate clarity of the recorded sound suits such conversational music perfectly. An excellent introduction to Haydn’s mature quartets, then, and for those who know the music well, these thoughtful, imaginative readings will provide any number of inspiring insights.

--Gramophone Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings in F minor, Op. 20 no 5/H 3 no 35 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), David Finckel (Cello),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 20 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 33 no 2/H 3 no 38 "Joke" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 16 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings in G major, Op. 54 no 1/H 3 no 58 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 18 Minutes 50 Secs. 
4.
Quartet for Strings in D major, Op. 64 no 5/H 3 no 63 "Lark" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 17 Minutes 45 Secs. 
5.
Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 74 no 3/H 3 no 74 "Rider" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 13 Secs. 
6.
Quartet for Strings in D minor, Op. 76 no 2/H 3 no 76 "Quinten" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 50 Secs. 
7.
Quartet for Strings in G major, Op. 77 no 1/H 3 no 81 "Lobkowitz" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Eugene Drucker (Violin), Philip Setzer (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1799; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in G major, K 387 "Spring": 4th movement, Molto allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Eugene Drucker (Violin), Philip Setzer (Violin), David Finckel (Cello),
Lawrence Dutton (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
9.
Pieces (2) for String Quartet: no 2, Polka [from "The Golden Age"] by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Eugene Drucker (Violin), David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in F major, Op. 96/B 179 "American": Lento by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Philip Setzer (Violin),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
11.
Quartet for Strings no 2: 2nd movement, Arguments by Charles Ives
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
12.
Sätze (5) for String Quartet, Op. 5: no 2, Sehr langsam by Anton Webern
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Philip Setzer (Violin),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Preglhof 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 4, Sz 91: 4th movement, Allegro pizzicato by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in C major, Op. 59 no 3 "Razumovsky": 4th movement, Allegro molto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in A minor, D 804/Op 29 no 1 "Rosamunde": 2nd movement, Andante by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 48 Secs. 

Sound Samples

String Quartet in F minor, HIII No.35, Op.20 No.5: 1. Moderato
String Quartet in F minor, HIII No.35, Op.20 No.5: 2. Menuet
String Quartet in F minor, HIII No.35, Op.20 No.5: 3. Adagio
String Quartet in F minor, HIII No.35, Op.20 No.5: 4. Fuga a 2 soggetti
String Quartet in E flat, HIII No.38, Op.33 No.2: 1. Allegro moderato, cantabile
String Quartet in E flat, HIII No.38, Op.33 No.2: 2. Scherzo allegro
String Quartet in E flat, HIII No.38, Op.33 No.2: 3. Largo sostenuto
String Quartet in E flat, HIII No.38, Op.33 No.2: 4. Finale: presto
String Quartet in G major, Hob.III No.57, Op.54 No.1: 1. Allegro con brio
String Quartet in G major, Hob.III No.57, Op.54 No.1: 2. Allegretto
String Quartet in G major, Hob.III No.57, Op.54 No.1: 3. Menuetto
String Quartet in G major, Hob.III No.57, Op.54 No.1: 4. Finale. Presto
String Quartet in D major, HIII No.63, Op.64 No.5 "The Lark": 1. Allegro moderato
String Quartet in D major, HIII No.63, Op.64 No.5 "The Lark": 2. Adagio
String Quartet in D major, HIII No.63, Op.64 No.5 "The Lark": 3. Menuet (Allegretto)
String Quartet in D major, HIII No.63, Op.64 No.5 "The Lark": 4. Finale (Vivace)
String Quartet in G minor, HIII No.74, Op.74 No.3 "The Horseman": 1. Allegro
String Quartet in G minor, HIII No.74, Op.74 No.3 "The Horseman": 2. Largo assai
String Quartet in G minor, HIII No.74, Op.74 No.3 "The Horseman": 3. Menuetto. Allegretto. Trio
String Quartet in G minor, HIII No.74, Op.74 No.3 "The Horseman": 4. Finale. Allegro con brio
String Quartet in D minor, H.III, Op.76 No.2 - "Fifths": 1. Allegro
String Quartet in D minor, H.III, Op.76 No.2 - "Fifths": 2. Andante o piů tosto allegretto
String Quartet in D minor, H.III, Op.76 No.2 - "Fifths": 3. Minuetto
String Quartet in D minor, H.III, Op.76 No.2 - "Fifths": 4. Finale (Vivace assai)
String Quartet in G, HIII No.81, Op.77 No.1: 1. Allegro moderato
String Quartet in G, HIII No.81, Op.77 No.1: 2. Adagio
String Quartet in G, HIII No.81, Op.77 No.1: 3. Menuetto - Trio
String Quartet in G, HIII No.81, Op.77 No.1: 4. Finale: Presto

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