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Haydn String Quartets Op. 1

Auryn Quartet

Tacet 167

The Auryns are a major recording quartet, with numerous volumes for Tacet, including 14 of Haydn, and more to come.

They play immaculately as one, with little evidence of individual thinking, and interpersonal musical tensions long subsumed into a four-in-one unity of perfect tone and ensemble - they are perhaps at their best in the studio? (In some reviews of their Wigmore Hall Beethoven series - it is to be resumed in April - there were reservations about lack of spontaneity.)

The Op 1 1-6 (as put together by publishers) are all in 5 movements, each with an expressive central Adagio (except for No 3, which has it first).

Don't be put off by this ghastly over-printed cover image; these are immaculate recordings of Haydn's early Divertimenti, with gorgeous melodic flights from the leader and, as yet, discreet accompaniments from his three colleagues, who will only become fully emancipated several volumes later.

Peter Grahame Woolf