, January 2009
HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 1, Nos. 1–4 8.550398
HAYDN, F.J.: String Quartets Nos. 5–8, Op. 1, Nos. 0 and 6, and Op. 2, Nos. 1 and 2 (Kodaly Quartet) 8.550399
The Op. 1 and 2 Quartets are in essence five-movement divertimenti scored for four string players. These earliest works have not quite the unquenchable flow of original ideas that the early symphonies have but, in such fresh performances as these, they make easy and enjoyable listening even if, with the performances generous in observing repeats, some movements outstay their welcome. The resonant ambience of the Unitarian Church in Budapest seems not unsuitable for works which lie midway between divertimenti and quartets, and the focus seems brighter and sharper on the second CD, recorded in June 1991, two months after the first.