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Led by Catherine Manson, the London Haydn Quartet have made a speciality of playing Haydn on gut strings, adding a colourful bloom to these six 1781 quartets, which were the fruit of the Esterhazy composer’s growing international fame and commercialism.
They are lighter and more popular in tone than his previous set of a decade earlier, but these refined performances profile the music’s conversational sophistication and its sheer fluency, underscoring Haydn gift for civility and wit.
String quartets op.33
London Haydn Quartet
(Hyperion, 2 CDs)