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Penguin Guide, January 2009

HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 64, Nos. 1- 3 8.550673
HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 64, Nos. 4 - 6 8.550674

These Kodály performances are all enjoyable, but the set seems to get better and better as it progresses. Op. 64/1–3 were recorded on 25–29 April 1192; the last to be done, the B flat major, is remarkably successful, with a vigorous opening Vivace assai and a rapt Adagio. The other three works were taped on 1–3 May, and clearly the group had found its top form. The Adagio cantabile e sostenuto of No. 4 finds them at their most concentrated: the Lark has never soared aloft more spontaneously and the Minuet and finale of No. 6 close the set in a winningly spirited fashion. The warm acoustics of the Budapest Unitarian Church provide a mellow and expansive sound-image, but not an orchestral one, and detail remains clear. A most enjoyable set.


"not even the most casual lover of Haydn's quartets will regret spending a tenner on this pair of discs"

Classic CD

"special even by the Kodaly's own high standards"

Hendon Times

"glorious music, beautifully played with nicely balanced sound"

Los Angeles Times

"This year's indispensable chamber-music recording..played with terrific wit and aplomb"

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