Joseph Haydn: String Quartets op. 50, 4-6
Willi Zimmermann, Katarzyna Nawrotek (violins) | Nicolas Corti (viola) | Claudius Hermann (violoncello)
After a creative pause of six years, Haydn composed in 1787 for the first time again a series of string quartets which he dedicated to his patron King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia - thus the name “Prussian Quartets”. The present CDm presents Quartets Nos. 4-6 performed by the Switzerland’s Amati Quartet:
Stringquartet op. 50 No. 4, in F sharp minor (Hob. 111:47) Stringquartet op. 50 No. 5, in F major (Hob. 111:48) called “The Dream” Stringquartet op. 50, No. 6, in D major (Hob. 111:49) called “The Frog”
Haydn, the founder of the genre of the string quartet, also left his decisive stamp on the form by letting the four parts participate in the musical acticity almost to an equal extent.
The Quartet Op. 50 No. 6 was given the nickname “The Frog” because in this work a particular performance technique is used, the so-called “bariolage”. In a rapid tempo, the same tone is played alternatingly on the open string and the adjacent string as a stopped one. The difference in sound resulting here from the change of technique recalls a croaking frog.
These three string quartets are three self-contained works, which, when considered separately, are all very full of variety, which cover a board arch from the dream-like to the humorous. Chamber-music speciallists will particularly value the virtuosity of the quartet playing of the Amati in the F sharp minor Quartet.
A dynamic start into spring.