Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recomended Top 10 String Quartets of Classical Era,.. other than Haydn's

Joseph Haydn's String Quartets are so dominated the Classical Era repertoire that we often rare to found his contemporaries works that put on the same light spot. There are quite a revival on the works of Classical Era string quartet in this decade, put by recording companies such as CPO, Hungaraton etc, that put good efforts in recording less known gems on this era.

Here a list that try to give recomendations for less known string quartets from the Classical Era. Of course this list is only according to my limited knowledge as I haven't collected all recordings available.

10. Giovanni Viotti - Six String Quartets Concertant Op.3
by l'Arte del Suono - Talent
This is a late Classical works, it's Quartets Concertant. I think the unique thing is that Viotti's violin mastery is put into this string quartet medium.

9. Johann Georg Albrechtsberger - Three String Quartets Op.7
by Authentic String Quartet played on period instruments - Hungaraton
Great composition and melody by one of the best music theoritician in Mozartian era.

8. Luigi Tomasini - Three String Quartets
by Quartetto Luigi Tomasini played on period instruments - Hungaraton
Luigi Tomasini was a violinist playing in the Esterhazy circle. These string quartets is great in melody line, such as String Quartet in Dm.

7. Adalbert Gyrowetz - Three String Quartets Op.44 (1804)
by Solomon String Quartet - Hyperion
Again try to listen the third quartet, which is really great in composition.

6. Ignaz Pleyel - Three Prussians Quartets Ben 337,338,339
by Pleyel Quartett Koln - CPO
Pleyel composed many string quartets and closely resembled Haydn's. But many listener thinks he got his style. Many recordings available but I think this CPO disc represented the set that really show Pleyel mastery of the medium in the same standard as Haydn's.

5. Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Three String Quartets Op.30
by Delme String Quartet - Helios
Hummel is a very underated composer IMO, his other works are slowly grow in public hearing. But this recording of his three string quartets are really gems from the era.

4. Franz Krommer - Three String Quartets Op.7
by Authentic String Quartet played on period instruments - Hungaraton
The first string quartet immediately opened with interesting melody motive in the first movement. Strongly recommended.

3. Gaetano Brunetti - String Quartets
by Schuppanzigh Quartett - CPO
Brunetti some how appointed as resident composer in the Spanish region. Great selection on his string quartets here.

2. Luigi Boccherini - Six String Quartets Op.32
by Esterhazy String Quartet
Similar to Pleyel, Boccherini is prolific composers in chamber genre. His Op.32 set recorded many times and represented his best on this medium, known to us, because of his hundreds of pieces yet to be examine carefully one by one.

1. Joseph Baptist Vanhal - String Quartets
by Kubin Quartet - Multisonic Records
Very less known, Vanhal is close contemporary to Mozart and Haydn for playing in the same ensemble to them. This set of quartet display the other masterpiece of the medium from the Classical era. This CD contained Vanhal's earlier composition in Opus 1, Opus 2, Opus 6 and Opus 13.


Other Notable Classical String Quartet Pieces:

- Over the year, the fascinating Vanhal compositions also can be heard on the Camesina Quartet recording. His op.33 quartets are also dinamic and melodious. Check it out too.

- Hyacinthe Jadin's only three string quartets recorded. By Quatuor Cambini.

- Antonin Reicha's string quartets. Now got two CD of them, by Kreutzer Quartet. CD 1 and CD 2

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