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NA 0399

HAYDN, F.J.: String Quartets Nos. 5-8, Op. 1, Nos. 0 and 6, and Op. 2, Nos. 1 and 2 (Kodaly Quartet)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2011


Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet


Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet


Unitarian Church, Budapest

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Total Time - 67:28
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HAYDN, F.J.: String Quartets Nos. 5-8, Op. 1, Nos. 0 and 6, and Op. 2, Nos. 1 and 2 (Kodaly Quartet)



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String Quartet No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 1, No. 0, Hob.II:6

1 I. Presto 1:57
2 II. Menuet 3:39
3 III. Adagio 4:51
4 IV. Menuet 3:51
5 V. Finale: Presto 1:55

String Quartet No. 6 in C major, Op. 1, No. 6, Hob.III:6

6 I. Presto assai 1:37
7 II. Menuet 3:45
8 III. Adagio 4:37
9 IV. Menuet 4:10
10 V. Finale: Allegro 1:42

String Quartet No. 7 in A major, Op. 2, No. 1, Hob.III:7

11 I. Allegro 2:42
12 II. Menuet 3:10
13 III. Adagio 5:59
14 IV. Menuet 2:39
15 V. Finale: Allegro molto 2:00

String Quartet No. 8 in E major, Op. 2, No. 2, Hob.III:8

16 I. Allegro molto 2:58
17 II. Minuet 3:19
18 III. Adagio 6:23
19 IV. Minuetto 3:32
20 V. Finale: Presto 2:42
 Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet Ensemble

All the present quartets follow the five movement form of the Divertimento, their minuets framing a central slow movement. It is probable that the E flat Quartet, Op. 1, No.0, and the Quartet in C major, Op. 1, No.6, were written during Haydn’s association with Baron Carl Joseph von Fürnberg at the castle of Weinzierl, where he played quartets with the parish priest, the estate manager and one of the Albrechtsberger brothers. This association seems to have started in 1757 and came to an end in 1759 with his appointment to the musical establishment of Count von Morzin. The first movements of these quartets are much simpler and shorter than those of later works in the form. The two minuets frame contrasting trios, with a pleasingly ornamented slow movement at the heart of each work, and a charming and rapid final movement.

Opus 2, as first published, included works in different forms, one of them certainly not by Haydn. The authentic quartets of Opus 2 are Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 6. The first of these, in the key of A major, was written in the early 1760s. A slightly more elaborate first movement leads to a minuet with an A minor trio, an ornamented D major slow movement, a second minuet, with a light-hearted trio, and an energetic final movement. Opus 2, No.2, again written between 1760 and 1762, is in E major. It has a first movement in embryonic sonata-form and a first minuet framing a contrasted E minor trio. The Adagio has first violin figuration of some elaboration, closely matched with that of the second violin, while the second minuet and trio follow the key pattern of the first. The quartet ends with a cheerful Presto that has its own brief surprises.

Kodály Quartet
The members of the Kodály Quartet were trained at the Budapest Ferenc Liszt Academy, and three of them, the second violin Támas Szabo, viola-player Gábor Fias and cellist János Devich, were formerly in the Sebestyén Quartet, which was awarded the jury’s special diploma at the 1966 Geneva International Quartet Competition and won first prize at the 1968 Leo Weiner Quartet Competition in Budapest. Since 1970, with the violinist Attila Falvay, the quartet has been known as the Kodály Quartet, a title adopted with the approval of the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Education. The Kodály Quartet has given concerts throughout Europe, in the Soviet Union and in Japan, in addition to regular appearances in Hungary both in the concert hall and on television and has made for Naxos highly acclaimed recordings of string quartets by Ravel, Debussy, Mozart and Haydn.

"...the Kodaly Quartet plays them with rich tone, obvious affection and polish"


"The Kodaly Quartet continues its winning way with Haydn; these performances are relaxed and sweet, with especially lovely Adagios... Another bargain; another recommendation at any price"


"The Op. 1 and 2 Quartets are in essence five-movement divertimenti scored for four string players. These earliest works have not quite the unquenchable flow of original ideas that the early symphonies have but, in such fresh performances as these, they make easy and enjoyable listening even if, with the performances generous in observing repeats, some movements outstay their welcome. The resonant ambience of the Unitarian Church in Budapest seems not unsuitable for works which lie midway between divertimenti and quartets, and the focus seems brighter and sharper on the second CD, recorded in June 1991, two months after the first."   ***

Penguin Guide - January 2009

"...vibrant performances with a sound to warm all but the sternest hearts"

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