Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Music » Reviews » Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 33 "Russian", No. 1, No. 2 "The Joke", No. 5 "How do you do?"

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 33 "Russian", No. 1, No. 2 "The Joke", No. 5 "How do you do?"

2 Ratings: 2.5
An album by Franz Joseph Haydn and Kodaly Quartet

Haydn's string quartet Op. 33 No. 2,The Joke, is one of the funniest things he ever wrote, and that's saying a lot because Haydn was the funniest composer in history. In fact, you might say that Haydn really invented the language of musical humor as … see full wiki

Tags: Music
1 review about Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 33 "Russian",...

The Joke Will Be on You ...

  • Jun 27, 2010
... if you spend your money buying the performances of Haydn's Quartets by the Kodaly Quartet on separate disks. They've all be included in the Naxos 25-CD "Complete Haydn Quartets" bargain box, and unlike many such bargains, they come with an ample booklet of historical and musicological notes. To my ears, although not all the Kodaly interpretations are equally impressive, the Big Box has come to seem quite a wonderful acquisition.

Three of the six quartets from Opus 33 have nicknames in English -- The Joke, The Bird, & How Do You Do -- almost a guarantee that they will be more familiar and more popular with audiences. The six were split into two CDs in this original release, with the first CD containing #s 5, 2, & 1, while the second CD contains #s 3, 6, and 4. In other words, the most affective and complex three are on one disk, the second, and the most facile and galante are on the other, the first. That seems uncommonly 'decent' for a recording company so i preseume it was the choice of the musicians. If you decide to buy one CD, make sure it's the CD that features #s 3, 6, & 4, or "The Joke" will be on you!

In general, Opus 33 seems to me to be a sort of retrenchment in to the galante lightweight style of earlier Rococo chamber music, after the bold structural complexity and serious tenor of the Sun quartets, Opus 20. Especially the three compositions on CD1 step backward from the 'classical' distribution of musical interest across all four voices of the quartet; as in earlier works, most of the melodic 'attention' is focused on the first violin. That, unfortunately, reveals the weakest qualities of the Kodaly ensemble and of all quartets performing on 'modern' instruments. The timbre of the first violin, so far removed from the lower voices, sounds wiry and scrape-ish. Perhaps that's why the three quartets on CD2 sound so much better - not because they're more ably performed but because they aren't so exposed. In any case, I'm giving CD1 three stars and CD2 five stars.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
What's your opinion on Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 33 "Russian"...?
2 Ratings: +2.5
You have exceeded the maximum length.
Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 33
Label: Naxos
Release Date: March 21, 1995

Related Topics
Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Dawson, Rosenshein, Cheek;

An album by Franz Joseph Haydn, Joel Revzen, John Cheek, Lyn

Meditation: Classical Relaxation

Classical album by Amilcare Ponchielli, Antonin Dvorak, Chri

Pink Floyd (Early Years)

English Rock Band

An Album by Pink Floyd

First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since