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CHAN 10831M
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CHAN 10831
(multiple CD Set)

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Doric String Quartet


Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk


Jonathan Cooper


Jonathan Cooper

Rosanna Fish

Record Label


String Quartet


Total Time - 154:42
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  String Quartets, Op. 20  
  [original dedication to Prince Nikolaus Zmeskall von Domanowetz]  

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 1 (Hob. III: 31)

  in E flat major - in Es-Dur - en mi bémol majeur  
1 Allegro moderato 9:19
2 Menuet. Un poco allegretto - Trio - Menuet da Capo 3:44
3 Affettuoso e sostenuto 8:33
4 Finale. Presto 3:35

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 2 (Hob. III: 32)

  in C major - in C-Dur - en ut majeur  
5 Moderato 9:34
6 Capriccio. Adagio - Segue subito il Menuet 6:45
7 Menuet. Allegretto - Trio - Menuet da Capo 3:31
8 Fuga a quattro soggetti. Allegro 3:10

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 3 (Hob. III: 33)

  in G minor - in g-Moll - en sol mineur  
9 Allegro con spirito 7:56
10 Menuet. Allegretto - Trio - Menuet da Capo 4:17
11 Poco adagio 9:43
12 Finale. Allegro di molto 3:45

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 4 (Hob. III: 34)

  in D major - in D-Dur - en ré majeur  
13 Allegro di molto 10:57
14 Un poco adagio e affettuoso - 9:44
  Variazione I -  
  Variazione II -  
  Variazione III - [ ]  
15 Menuet all Zingarese. Allegretto - Trio - Menuet da Capo 1:40
16 Presto e scherzando 6:53

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 5 (Hob. III: 35)

  in F minor - in f-Moll - en fa mineur  
17 Moderato 11:14
18 Menuet. [ ] - Trio - Menuet da Capo fin al Segno 5:02
19 Adagio - Segue Fuga 6:30
20 Finale. Fuga a due soggetti 8:39

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 6 (Hob. III: 36)

  in A major - in A-Dur - en la majeur  
21 Allegro di molto e scherzando 8:38
22 Adagio 6:04
23 Menuet. [ ] - Trio - Menuet da Capo 2:34
24 Fuga con tre soggetti. Allegro 2:55
  Alex Redington violin  
  Jonathan Stone violin  
  Hélène Clément viola  
  John Myerscough cello  
  7-9 October 2013 (String Quartets, Op. 20 Nos 1, 3, and 5) and 2-4 December 2013 (other works)  

Haydn’s six Op. 20 string quartets are milestones in the history of the genre. He wrote them in 1772 for performance by his colleagues at the Esterházy court and, unusually, not specifically for publication. Each one is a unique masterpiece and the set introduces compositional techniques that radically transformed the genre and shaped it for centuries to come. Haydn overturns conventional instrumental roles, crafts remarkably original colours and textures, and unlocks new expressive possibilities in these works which were crucial in establishing the reputation of purely instrumental music. The range within the quartets is kaleidoscopic. From the introspective, chorale-like slow movement of No. 1 via the terse and radical quartet No. 3 in G minor to the comic spirit of the fourth in D major, each of the quartets inhabits a distinct musical world. For many, this is some of the greatest music Haydn ever wrote.

Playing these seminal works is one of the world’s finest young ensembles, the Doric String Quartet. As well as having already produced a string of acclaimed recordings on Chandos, the group has been widely praised for its live performances of Haydn’s works. The Sunday Telegraph wrote that ‘Haydn and the Doric are a perfect match… Unequivocally, these were performances of terrific panache and perception, seeming to get right under the skin of Haydn’s creative genius

 "...Overall these are interpretations with a strong profile – the music always provokes a response from the players, beyond the mere presentation of what is in the score. The Doric can even be dramatic, as if aware that this is the period of Sturm und Drang (“storm and stress”) and the remarkable year of Haydn’s splendid symphonies numbers 45-47. They do not assume that this music can somehow play itself if one just attends to the score. Not everyone approves of this – BBC Music Magazine, while generally admiring, refers to an “over-expressive approach”. Conversely, Harriet Smith on the BBC’s CD Review broadcast lauded that very freedom and expressiveness, finding now that some admired predecessors to the Doric can sound a bit too “well-mannered”. For me such music should be strongly characterized, even if that involves some risk-taking in tempi, longer pauses, stronger attacks, and altered dynamics. So I can certainly enthuse about this release to those not already wedded to another recording ..."

Roy Westbrook - - 18 February 2015

 "...Chandos has supplied top-of-the-line sound. It sounds as if the players are in the room with you... I reject the aesthetic underlying these readings but would be surprised if this did not turn out to be one of he best and most enjoyable releases I get to review this year."

Stephen Chakwin - American Record Guide - March/April 2015

                                         ***** (Exceptional Album)

Massimo Viazzo - Musica magazine (Italy) - March 2015

“… The Doric players pay him [Haydn] proper respect, taking him seriously but also keeping matters light-hearted, which, for much of the time, he is. It makes for an attractive set of performances, recorded with an agreeably close acoustic. The two-disc set includes a booklet with expert and excellent notes by W Dean Sutcliffe.”

John Warrack – International Record Review – November 2014    


          Performance ***         Recording ****


“…The Doric Quartet, making sparing use of vibrato, play with much sensitivity. Their slow movements, in particular, are beautifully done. So, too, are the three whispered fugal finales, as well as such pieces as the deeply expressive opening movement of the F minor Quartet, Op 20 No 5…”

Misha Donat – BBC Music magazine – January 2015

                      Critics Choice – Chamber

Nalen Anthoni – Gramophone magazine – December 2014

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