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Penguin Guide, January 2009

HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 2, Nos. 3 and 5 / Op. 3, Nos. 1–2 8.555703
HAYDN: String Quartets Op. 3, Nos. 3–6 8.555704

There is much to admire in these works…They are elegant, neatly composed works with lively outer movements, gentle, graceful slow movements and the kind of lilting, intoxicating Minuets that are an integral part of Austrian music of this period. The C major stands out for its resourceful opening Fantasia con variazioni and its charmingly wistful Andante. But it is the F major that is justly the most famous, for not only does it have the unforgettable ‘Serenade’ for its Andante cantabile, but also another gallant lilting tune as the second subject of the opening movement, and another amiable Scherzando finale.

The Kodály Quartet’s performances are in every way first class, treating the music with all the finesse that is its due, and winningly acknowledging its vitality and charm. The recording is most real and vivid.

Richard Wigmore
BBC Music Magazine, October 2002

"These innocently tuneful quartets offer an hour's innocent enjoyment for anyone who invests a fiver in this disc."

Michael Jameson

"A useful adjunct to the Kodály Quartet's budget Haydn series, the disputed Op. 3 works attributed to Pater Romanus Hoffstetter plug one of the last remaining gaps, with attractive readings of Quartets Nos. 3-6. The playing is very fine indeed; outer movements, such as No. 3's brilliant concluding Presto, display tremendous verve and enthusiasm. First violinist Attila Falvay plays with imagination, accuracy, and panache, even in complex passagework above the staff, as in No. 5's Presto. The players also get comic moments totally right (such as the minuet of the same work), letting the music make the jokes obvious, without the need for exaggeration. But they also play with utmost finesse and tonal beauty, the best moments of all coming in the Largo of No. 3 and in the Adagio of No. 4. The famous Serenade from No. 5 has been very widely recorded, but apart from the mono 1951/52 Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet recordings of Nos. 1, 4, 5, and 6 (reissued by Preiser), there are no modern alternatives to this admirable Naxos production. Truthful, well-balanced sound and faultless musicianship makes this another winner."

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