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Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)

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Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)

Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 283 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 138 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Naxos | # 8.573701 | Time: 00:56:36

Joseph Haydn claimed to have discovered the string quartet form by accident. His Op. 1, No. 1 has the cheerful five-movement form of a Divertimento, while the glorious and harmonically daring Op. 77, No. 1 was among the last he completed in the genre. Falling between the two, Op. 33, No. 5 is full of rhythmic surprises and a theme that gives it the nickname ‘How do you do?’ The award-winning Goldmund Quartet is considered one of today’s most exciting young European string quartets.

This release is essentially a showcase for the Goldmund Quartet, and it’s hard not to warm to a young ensemble with its priorities so evidently in the right place. Haydn is still the indispensable touchstone for any serious quartet, and this debut disc covers both the beginning and end of Haydn’s quartet-writing career, with Op 33 No 5 falling almost exactly in the middle.

The Goldmunds make a beautiful sound, elegant and transparent, with a real sense that these four players are friends both on and off the concert platform. From the very opening of Op 1 No 1 – and the bright, buoyant feeling of an ensemble tugging at the leash – it’s clear that they take this music as seriously as it demands. Second violinist Pinchas Adt talks of ‘a lot of loving attention to detail’, and that’s a good summary of these performances: whether in the nutty pizzicatos of Op 1’s first Minuet, the artless opening smile of Op 33 No 5 or the refined blending of instrumental tone at the opening of Op 77 No 1’s great Adagio.

Reservations? Such intense carefulness can sometimes feel a little mannered – the group’s end-of-phrase ritenutos work better in the inner movements of Op 77 No 1 than the outer, and in the finale of Op 33 No 5 they’re positively arch. Don’t expect anything like the freewheeling fantasy that certain other emerging groups – Quatuor Zaïde (Op 50; NoMadMusic, 3/16), say – bring to Haydn. But these are still very attractive readings, and you’re never in any doubt that even the Goldmunds’ misjudgements are born of love.

Review by Richard Bratby, Gramophone

You have to return to Naxos’s early releases, twenty-five years and more ago, to find the first discs in the highly acclaimed Haydn quartet cycle from the Kodaly Quartet. Very similar in approach, this newcomer to the catalogue comes from the young award-winning, and much acclaimed German group, the Goldmund Quartet. They too concentrate on a refinement and elegance in performances that never come between the listener and composer. Throughout they have a warmth of tone; tempos are unhurried as they shape phrases with a natural musicality, while inner voices are given a more prominent role than we usually experience. Dynamics are never exaggerated, though I would have welcomed the greater range we hear from the recordings made by The Lindsays, where, for instance, they pointed out those explosive sforzandos in the scherzo of the Fifth of opus 55. Haydn certainly could be more than bucolic at times, but the Goldmund—like the Kodaly—look on his quartets in a wonderfully civilised musical world, where the slow movements are an exposition of mellow and beautiful playing. Apart from the Kodaly and the Lindsays—with their two extremely different approaches—there are so many outstanding recordings available that are played with technical perfection, and here I have to point to passing moments, especially in fast passages, where I question the leading violin intonation. Recorded in a spacious acoustic, the texture is clean and ideally delineated, the balance between instruments perfectly judged both by the performers and engineers.

Review by David Denton, David’s Review Corner

Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)



Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)



Goldmund Quartet

Florian Schötz, violin I
Pinchas Adt, violin II
Christoph Vandory, viola
Raphael Paratore, cello

Recorded: 18-21 April 2016
Recording Venue: Gabrielkirche Ismaning, Germany

Tracklist:

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)

String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1
01. I. Presto (2:41)
02. II. Minuet (3:27)
03. III. Adagio (4:50)
04. IV. Minuet (2:26)
05. V. Finale: Presto (2:01)

String Quartet in G major, Op.33 No.5
06. I. Vivace assai (6:11)
07. II. Largo e cantabile (4:06)
08. III. Scherzo: Allegro (2:43)
09. IV. Finale: Allegretto (4:45)

String Quartet in G major, Op.77 No.1
10. I. Allegro moderato (7:01)
11. II. Adagio (6:30)
12. III. Menuetto: Presto (4:13)
13. IV. Finale: Presto (5:44)


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Goldmund Quartet / Haydn - String Quartets, Op.1 No.1, Op.33 No.5, Op.77 No.1

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––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Goldmund Quartet / Haydn - String Quartets, Op.1 No.1, Op.33 No.5, Op.77 No.1
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -5.23 dB -21.69 dB 2:41 01-String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1 - I. Presto
DR12 -8.08 dB -23.97 dB 3:27 02-String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1 - II. Minuet
DR13 -10.14 dB -27.14 dB 4:50 03-String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1 - III. Adagio
DR14 -4.92 dB -22.27 dB 2:26 04-String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1 - IV. Minuet
DR15 -2.86 dB -22.14 dB 2:01 05-String Quartet in B flat major, Op.1 No.1 - V. Finale: Presto
DR15 -1.56 dB -21.45 dB 6:11 06-String Quartet in G major, Op.33 No.5 - I. Vivace assai
DR13 -7.80 dB -24.61 dB 4:06 07-String Quartet in G major, Op.33 No.5 - II. Largo e cantabile
DR13 -4.88 dB -22.13 dB 2:43 08-String Quartet in G major, Op.33 No.5 - III. Scherzo: Allegro
DR15 -2.76 dB -23.87 dB 4:45 09-String Quartet in G major, Op.33 No.5 - IV. Finale: Allegretto
DR14 -1.84 dB -20.60 dB 7:01 10-String Quartet in G major, Op.77 No.1 - I. Allegro moderato
DR16 -0.49 dB -24.24 dB 6:30 11-String Quartet in G major, Op.77 No.1 - II. Adagio
DR15 -1.25 dB -20.17 dB 4:13 12-String Quartet in G major, Op.77 No.1 - III. Menuetto: Presto
DR15 -0.71 dB -20.95 dB 5:44 13-String Quartet in G major, Op.77 No.1 - IV. Finale: Presto
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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================================================================================

Goldmund Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op.1 No.1; Op.33 No.5; Op.77 No.1 (2016)