Parla, it might be DVDA not SACD for the hi def Auryn. My CD player is aa Naim CDS 3 so ordinary CDs sound quite good but I can't help wonder if I'm missing anything without hi def. Stephenjohn
Thanks Parla for all the helpful suggestions. It's infuriating though how many are not available or 'out of stock'. Half the Op.33 set with the Parkanyi and half the Op.50 with the Prazak are currently unavailable. I'm reluctant to order half sets if I'm not sure I'll be able to get the other half. Annoying. Even the Schubert Quintet (Prazak) which I thought was on its way to me is now, I am told, out of stock. With patience I suppose I'll find them
Thanks again anyway!
PS: I hope you enjoy the Bruckner! I think you will.
SJ, I don't plan to buy, right now, the Ayrun. I have already had a lot of Haydn's String Quartets. I have the Ayrun on Beethoven, Schuman and Brahms. I can't say I was so excited. However, it's a very solid group. Unfortunately, there are no SACDs of them, at least on Haydn, from the catalogue of Tacet I have in my possession.
Chris, if I were you, I would buy whatever is available from Praga, before it's too late...Try their website and see if you can order directly from them, as well.
The "Bruckner" will reach me sometime later in the summer. I'll let you know about my first reactions.
Hi Parla! Eventually I found both discs of the Op.33 with the Parkanyi Quartet (from two different sources). As far as I can see the Prazak have so far recorded only three of the six Op.50 quartets. Is that correct? Anyway twelve quartets (Op.20 with Pellegrini) and Op.33 are on their way to me. Thanks very much for all your help.
I shall be away for a few days so will be off-line until Monday.
All the best
You're correct, Chris. Both Prazak and Parkanyi "have" to complete op. 50 and 54, respectively. They take their time, I guess. The good stuff needs its time.
We'll see. Have a nice extended weekend.
With all the gloom permeating the threads lately, what better antidote could there be than Haydn's glorious string quartets!
The Op.20 set with Pellegrini Quartet, and one of the two CDs of Op.33 with the Parkanyi Quartet have now arrived and splendid they both are! Especially fine are the Parkanyi in Op.33. Exactly as you said Parla, brightly lit, lively and with perfect intonation, recorded with just the right amount of resonance. Magic in fact! Their 'Austro-Hungarian' style contrasts with the more Germanic, slightly old-fashioned style of the Pellegrini in Op.20 (not afraid of a little portamento here and there). Both very enjoyable. Still waiting for the other half of Op.33: next will have to be the Prazak in Op.50. [Incidently I don't think there are more Op.54 to follow from Parkanyi: looking at the catalogue of Haydn's Quartets I notice that there are only three quartets in Op.54 (as well as in Opp 55, 71 and 74)].
Thanks again for your recommendations.
I'm very glad you found these two recordings as I described them.
The Pellegrini is a strange case. They have few recordings, but they seem a very solid and inspired in performing works from any period Quartet. The Parkanyi is even better, more solid and with a great variety of repertory as well (try their Bartok and you'll see what I mean). In the "Art of the String Quartet, Vol.2", they perform two Beethoven String Quartets, the op.18,4 (the only minor mode of the Early ones, in c minor, and the amazing op.95 in f minor, the "Serioso") along with a superb early String Quartet by Schubert in B flat. One of the very best Discs demonstrating the Art of the String Quartet!
You are right about op. 54. I mixed the op.54 and 55 (three Quartets as well), since both constitute the two first volumes of the so called "Tost" Quartets. So, now we expect the op. 55, to complete the second set of the "Tost" ones. Op. 64 (still missing and possibly expected) are six and constitute the third volume of the "Tost" (reaching the great 12 Quartets for the same dedicatee), while op. 71 (still missing) and 74 (three each) constitute the "Apponyi" Quartets and the most celebrated op. 76 (six Quartets) are the "Erdody" ones.
Still, long way to go, but I trust every single recording of Praga on them should be brilliant in the consistency of its very high standards.
Chris, you asked about the Borodin Quartet's Opus 33 set. Well, I would highly recommend them: lively happy musical playing and a very punchy dynamic sound. Brilliant. Thanks for the heads up. Where did you learn of them by the way? [don't say reviewed in Gramophone, ha ha. I usually make a point of looking for this sort of review but I think I could be inefficient].
Thanks SJ for taking the trouble. I saw the CDs on Amazon when I was looking for the Prakanyi set that Parla recommended. I've bought that set and they are really marvellous performances, superbly recorded. But, after your comments, I'm tempted by these too. What wonderful music these quartets are!!
My big problem is wth the piano sonatas. I love the symphonies, the quartets, the trios and the choral works, but have great difficulty 'getting into' the piano sonatas. I have records and have attended recitals by Brendel, Schiff etc. and still the works elude me. I'm not (yet) convinced that these works show Haydn at his best - but probably it is just me! Maybe my 'Damascus moment' is still to come. Any suggestions?
I'm truly surpised, Chris. Haydn's Piano Sonatas are the most brilliant music for piano in the 18th century. Technically and structurally, I found them more mature and tougher than Mozart's. Of course, the latter's Sonatas are so beautiful, you can forget anything else. In Haydn, you have to follow the structure, the game with the tonalities, the modulations, the unusual forms he opted sometimes or how he moves inside the usual forms.
I would suggest you to start the opposite way; listen the last ones...carefully. For example, the great No. 62, in E flat, is a superb example of piano writing. Almost any pianist has played it. The No. 60, in C, is also a great example of a brilliant piano composition. I would also recommend to listen to them on Fortepiano. Brautigam (complete works), Staier, Cooper (on Channel Classics) have done some outstanding recordings. Gary Cooper is an absolute delight, in an incredibly demonstration quality recording (in SACD), with some of the most distinct Sonatas (using a unique Walter Fortepiano of 1795).
By the way, speaking of Channel Classics, they have two magnificent recordings (always in demonstration quality SACD), with various Haydn's String Quartets (two from the very pivotal op. 20 and one from op.77, op.76, op.74 and op.64) with the Amsterdam String Quartet (a group of very solid soloists). They are true gems. Don't miss them!
Yes, you are right Parla it is a big puzzle for me too! It's not as though I haven't made an effort. But, yes, it might be a good idea to try one of the fortepiano versions. I'm not giving up!
On the quartet front, I'm looking for a good recording of the Op.64 set, so perhaps I should try the Amsterdam set. With Opp 76 & 77 I'm very fond of the Alban Berg Quartet. Their style is less successful though with the earlier quartets. I'm expecting any day the Prazak in the Schubert G major quartet (incidentally, that is a work it took me a long time to really understand).
[PS; added later: I've just ordered the complete Brautigam set, 15 CDs for 47 dollars - must be worth trying! But no more CDs this month!!!].
For the piano sonatas I think for me, which of course might be different for you, if one has a good recording it isn't necessarily a matter of finding the perfect recording but rather repeated listening that pays off. I have the set by John McCabe which I like and had very good reviews.
For the Op 64 set of string quartets I have the Lindsays, which have mixed reviews, but I enjoy. At some point in the future I will buy several more, but I'm not in a hurry. In fact I relish the journey
I tend to listen a lot to single recordings then when I feel intimate with the music I then buy other recordings to explore more deeply, it is a method that gives me a lot of pleasure.
Thanks again SJ for your helpful comments. Having just listened to so many of the quartets, perhaps now is the time to have another go at the sonatas! As you see (above) I ordered the Brautigam set. The fifteen CDs cost the same as buying two of the individual ones! Anyway it's a double challenge for me because I've not previously listened much to recordings on the fortepiano.
As for the Op.64 quartets, I've heard the Lindsays in concert a few times without being overwhelmed. I was so impressed with Parkanyis in Op.33 that I may wait for a while to see if they record them. I've spent too much on CDs lately anyway!