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The Complete Haydn String Quartets [Box Set] ()

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For any comprehensive collection of European music of the Classical period, the string quartets of Haydn are an absolute must. Not only did Haydn invent the genre, but he developed it into a flexible form capable of expressing the subtlest nuances of musical thought and human emotion, in a body of works unparalleled by any other corpus save the same composer's own mighty series of symphonies. The question then becomes which of the several collections of the complete quartets best represents the works. The listener couldn't do much better than this Naxos collection by the Kodály Quartet. The quartet's playing is lean and agile, but strong and sonorous when necessary, with each player a master of his instrument, and the ensemble is more than the sum of its parts. As interpreters, the Hungarian musicians are expressive but reserved, letting the music sing in the slow movements and dance in the menuettos, but keeping it always within the bounds of civil discourse. That latter phrase is key to the Kodály's... Hide synopsis

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