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Haydn: String Quartets Op. 54 - Parkanyi Quartet

Haydn: String Quartets Op. 54 - Parkanyi Quartet

Praga Digitals  PRD/DSD 250 272

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


Haydn: String Quartet in G major Op. 54 No. 1, String Quartet in C major Op. 54 No. 2, String Quartet in E major Op. 54 No. 3

Parkanyi Quartet


These three Opus 54 Quartets exploit the archetype of the Classical quartet as defined in the famous Op.33 (PRD/DSD 250238, 250262), an ‘linstalmen’t that definitively imposed this genre, from Mozart up to the moderns. Their dramaturgy—at the same time structured, full of humour and hidden, sometimes transcendent—and virtuosity call for performers of rare instrumental cohesion in order to show to advantage these 'playlets' directed by the primarius. The Parkányi (formerly Orlando) Quartet excels in these learned games, seductive or mysterious, such as in the Adagio in C minor modulating into G minor of Op.54 no.2, one of the strangest ever written prior to the night musics of Béla Bartók, some 140 years later!

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Review by Mark Novak - October 18, 2011

Praga are making their way through the Haydn string quartets in performances from their three “house” string quartets: Prazak, Parkanyi and Kocian. After the SACD of Op.74 back in 2005 by the Kocian Qt, it seems that the duties have switched to the Prazak and Parkanyi quartets who have divvied up the more recent releases. This release of the three Op.54 quartets is wonderfully played by the Parkanyi quartet. This quartet is one of the best performing groups today based on the evidence of their recordings. They bring a nice balance of romantic temperament to these classical period works that makes them come alive. The ensemble precision is amazing to hear but, unlike the metronomic precision of the Emerson quartet, I hear more humanity here with the Parkanyi. If you want to make your acquaintance with these quartets, you could hardly do better than the Parkanyi.

The recorded sound, captured in the Domovina Studio, Prague in May 2010, is a bit over reverberant for the music. I have complained about this in past issues in this series and while not quite as bad as the earlier releases in this regard, I still find the sound a bit unnatural (in stereo). Otherwise, the dynamics are wide and the instruments possess their natural characters. Overall, a very worthy addition to the ongoing Haydn series.

Copyright © 2011 Mark Novak and HRAudio.net

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Sonics (Stereo):

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