Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Leipzig String Quartet is back! After a compulsory break of two years the top ensemble from Saxony now continues its Haydn edition. Nos. 1, 2, and 6 round off Haydn’s op. 64- a marvelous combination of emotional dedication and consummate classicism displaying a historical backdrop and refreshing virtuosity. Haydn, the glorious inventor of the string quartet, took the genre to new heights in his op. 64. Perfectly balanced in form and harmony, the pieces comprising this number are directly interrelated. And this was precisely what the impresario Peter Salomon was looking for when he hired the sought-after retiree on the spot for his London concert series. Haydn’s legendary jokes are rather subtle in nature in his op. 64. Surprising contrasts between major and minor, between triplets and duplets, a second trio in the E flat major minuet, a seeming recapitulation in the very remote key of G flat major- those in the musical know will delight in his fine sense of humor, which this time supports the finely proportioned architecture of the pieces instead of questioning its stability. In London Haydn’s career once again truly blossomed. The Quartets op 64 must have played a considerable role in this development, and with the Leipzig String Quartet we immediately understand why this was so. The musicians perform with historical bows, while standing, and produce agile, tonally fine, and transparent interpretations, uniquely demonstrating how personal commitment, when it is most deeply felt, can be articulated in consummate classical proportions!