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Haydn's new string quartets were literally in demand. Count Apponyi finally won the bid for no less than 100 ducats - and the exclusive right to perform for one year. The quartets op. 71, which are still associated with the aristocratic name today, are evidence of Haydn's pronounced business acumen after his period of service with Prince Esterhazy. But even more fascinating to us today is the sovereign mastery of a composer at the height of his creative powers.

Apponyi himself was a talented violinist, and so it is not surprising that the quartets provide for tasks for the primarius that are as demanding as they are rewarding. But Haydn had someone else in mind: Johann Peter Salomon, Haydn's famous London impresario was also a violinist of distinction. Salomon organised entire concert series of Haydn's works and probably performed the Op. 71 quartets for the first time in the famous Hanover Square Rooms.

Joseph Haydn

(1770 - 1827)


String Quartets

Volume 16


Op. 71 No. 1 - 3


Leipzig Quartet


MDG 307 2275-2

Price: 21,99 €


Today, Haydn is known for skilfully exploiting the acoustic conditions of his performance venues when composing. The powerful chords at the beginning of Quartet No. 1, for example, seem to literally call the audience to silence - with up to 900 people in the Hanover Square Rooms, surely not without reason... The reverberation of the concert hall, already praised by contemporaries, comes into its own again and again through surprising pauses.

The Leipzig String Quartet celebrates Haydn's ideas with wit and charm. Brilliant in the expansive solo passages, but above all of the highest standard in chamber music, the three quartets op. 71 revive the Viennese and London hype of the 1790s. The natural, unobtrusive recording technique does the rest to elevate these classical masterpieces to their rightful pedestal.


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