Composer: Joseph Haydn
Performer: Takacs Quartet
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Size: 634 MB
01. String Quartet In G Major Op.76 No.1
02. String Quartet In D Minor, Op. 76 No. 2 “Fifths”
03. String Quartet In C Major, Op. 76 No. 3 “Emperor”
04. String Quartet In B Flat Major, Op. 76 No. 4
05. String Quartet In D Major, Op. 76 No. 5
06. String Quartet In E Flat Major, Op. 76 No. 6
One of my favorite Takacs Quartet recordings
This album ranks right up among my favorite Takacs albums, and it is certainly one of the best albums I’ve purchased in awhile. I’ve been surprised at how frequently I’ve returned to it, and it has significantly increased my estimation of Haydn. (I admit shamefully that up until now my impression had been that Haydn wrote a lot of nice music, but nothing truly great.)
The Takacs give wonderful performances of all six quartets, but the D minor and D major quartets (Opp. 76.2 and 76.5) stand out in particular to me. I’ve explored other recordings of all of these pieces (e.g. Lindsays, Alban Berg), but none has grabbed my attention like this one. Even the Kodaly recordings–which have garnered significant praise here on Amazon–don’t compare. The Takacs just bring greater life to these quartets than I’ve found elsewhere. Granted, I’ve not heard all available recordings. In fact, some would consider my neglect of the highly-praised Quatuor Mosaiques recordings (on period instruments) a serious omission. But given how well these Takacs performances have stood up thus far, I’m content to stick with them.
Also, while I was concerned that the original quartet members (featured in this Haydn recording) wouldn’t measure up to the current ones (featured in their Hyperion recordings), that fear was completely unfounded. The Takacs have impressed me with every combination of players they’ve had. I highly recommend this album.