Monday, July 27, 2015

Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 64, #s4-6

From the late 1980s on the German budget label, Pilz, comes this fine recording of three of Haydn's best-known string quartets, filled with gorgeous melody, rich harmony and excellent playing by the Caspa da Salo Quartet.

Composed in 1790 and often called the Tost quartets after Johann Tost, a Hungarian violinist who assisted the composer in finding a publisher for much of his work and who is given a dedication by Haydn for the Op. 64 works, this trio includes the fifth, called the "Lark Quartet", and which is one of the most famous of his pieces.

All six of the set are remarkable works.  The quality of these pieces reflect Haydn's full development, by his sixties, of both the string quartet and the symphony genres.

They were also written just as the maestro was ending a decades-long employment at the Esterhazy court and soon to be sent to London, where he reached new levels of fame with some of his late symphonies.

When it comes to bargain-basement budget classical labels, Pilz is probably the most notable of all.  This blogger has hundreds and hundreds of classical recordings, many on high-end labels, and quite a few on Naxos, Pilz and other budget ones, and does not have any pretension as to knowledge or deep understanding of the technical underpinnings of the music.  But, this recording and the few dozen others from Pilz are enjoyable.

Click here an interesting take on what the Pilz series has to offer for the "frugal" classical music consumer--this was definitely relatable!

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