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The Lindsays - Haydn: String Quartets Op. 33 Nos. 1, 2 & 4 (1995)

Posted By: ArlegZ
The Lindsays - Haydn: String Quartets Op. 33 Nos. 1, 2 & 4 (1995)

The Lindsays - Haydn: String Quartets Op. 33 Nos. 1, 2 & 4 (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 235 Mb | Total time: 61:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: ASV Digital | # CDDCA937 | Recorded: 1994

These performances are every bit as searching and exhilarating as the Lindsay’s previous Haydn recordings for ASV. Theirs is chamber-music-making of unusual recreative flair, untouched by the faintest hint of routine. Many quartets still seem to treat Haydn as an agreeable aperitif to the ostensibly meatier fare later in the programme. But both live and on disc the Lindsay bring to the composer the same dedication and interpretative insight that mark their playing of Beethoven or late Schubert.
In fact, I was put in mind of Beethoven in the Lindsay’s uncommonly grave, inward readings of the slow movements of the E flat and B flat quartets: in each they sustain a daringly slow tempo magnificently, phrasing in long, arching spans, always acutely sensitive to harmonic movement, as in their subtle colouring of Haydn’s breathtaking tonal excursions in No. 4. And in these movements, especially, I was struck by the intensity and variety of the Lindsay’s soft playing, and by the imaginative freedom of Peter Cropper’s figuration, always deeply expressive rather than elegantly decorative.
Beethoven is also evoked in the Lindsay’s swift, mordant reading of No. 1’s epigrammatic Scherzo: rarely, if ever, have I heard the waspish part-writing and the abrupt, disconcerting contrasts in dynamics and articulation so vividly realized. Typically, they make the most of the complete change of mood and texture in the major-keyed trio, finding an almost Viennese sweetness of tone and phrase, complete with touches of portamento. The finale, fast, fierce, utterly un-comical, has a distinct whiff of the Hungarian puszta here, both in the wild gipsy figuration from 0'10'' and the mounting passion of the sequence in the development.
The Lindsay bring an ideal spaciousness and flexibility to the urban, quietly spoken first movement of the E flat Quartet, No. 2, taking due note of Haydn’s cantabile marking. I particularly liked their gentle easing into the opening theme, and their lucidity and lyrical tenderness in the wonderful polyphonic development of the theme from 2'44''. In the finales of this quartet and No. 4 the Lindsay enter fully into the music’s spirit with vital, inventively varied phrasing, palpably relishing Haydn’s exuberance and comic sleight of hand. Here, as occasionally elsewhere, it’s easy to overlook the odd moment of rhythmic unsteadiness or impure intonation for the sake of such involved and characterful music-making. I hope the Lindsay will press on to record an integral Haydn series – a prospect I find hardly less exciting than that of a complete Beethoven cycle from Carlos Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic.
– Richard Wigmore

Performer:
The Lindsays:
Peter Cropper & Ronald Birks, violin
Robin Ireland, viola
Bernard Gregor-Smith, cello

Track List:
String Quartet No. 31 in B minor, Op. 33/1, H. 3/37
01. I. Allegro moderato
02. II. Scherzo - Allegro di molto
03. III. Andante
04. IV. Fourth movement: Presto
String Quartet No. 30 in E flat major ("Joke"), Op. 33/2, H. 3/38
05. I. Allegro moderato
06. II. Scherzo - Allegro
07. III. Largo e sostenuto
08. IV. Presto
String Quartet No. 34 in B flat major, Op. 33/4, H. 3/40
09. I. Allegro moderato
10. II. Scherzo - Allegretto
11. III. Largo
12. IV. Presto


Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 16. September 2019, 3:22

Lindsay String Quartet / The Lindsays - Haydn Quartets Op. 33 Nos 1, 2 & 4

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The Lindsays - Haydn: String Quartets Op. 33 Nos. 1, 2 & 4 (1995)

Thanks to the original releaser