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Robert Greenberg
The Huffington Post, June 2012

HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 33, Nos. 1, 2 and 5 8.550788
HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 33, Nos. 3, 4 and 6 8.550789

The six string quartets published together as Opus…33 were composed in 1781. They are works of great beauty, brevity, and expressive directness. Recommended recording… © 2012 The Huffington Post Read complete review

David Olds
The WholeNote, October 2009

HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 33, Nos. 1, 2 and 5 8.550788
HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 33, Nos. 3, 4 and 6 8.550789

What follows is a de-construction of the finale from Haydn’s string quartet “The Joke” (Op.33, No.2) replete with spiccato bowing in the violin, pizzicato from the cello, pointillist piano chording and intermittent hissing and shushing from all concerned. Other tracks of note include Lalo Schifrin’s lush and lilting (and somewhat deceptively titled) Elegy and Meditation and Ah Haydn by Betsy Jolas. This last was of particular interest to me as I had been impressed by several of this French composer’s works in my formative years, but had not encountered any of her music in more than three decades. I was pleased to note that she is still active and that her music has not lost its edge. The Haydn Trio Eisenstadt was founded in 1992 and the current membership has been in place for just over a decade. As well as their residency at the Haydn Festival they have a very busy and successful recording career, with complete recordings of Haydn’s folksong arrangements and the complete piano trios of Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven. “Dedicated To Haydn” is their second foray into the realm of the contemporary and quite an extensive one at that. Kudos to all concerned…it is to the Naxos catalogue that I tend to turn when I find a glaring hole in my collection. For instance although I have several dozen Haydn string quartets, when I wanted to listen to “The Joke” as referenced by Dieter Schnebel I found I did not have a recording. As I suspected it was easy to track it down. Haydn’s “Russian” String Quartets Op.33 are available in fine performances by the Kodàly Quartet on two CDs (Naxos 8.550788 & 8.550789) and once again I was able to fill in a gap in my collection without breaking the bank. It is not just the affordable prices and good to very good performances that make the Naxos line attractive to me, but even more important is the fact that their ever-expanding and ever-more adventurous catalogue is already complete when it comes to the standard repertoire and that everything stays in the catalogue and remains readily available. It is no wonder that Naxos has become the most successful purveyor of classical music of our time.

, January 2009

“In short these are performances which convey the players’ affection with this wonderful music”

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