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These quartets date from 1793 and were written when Haydn returned home to Vienna after a visit to London which had cemented his international fame as a composer and public figure.
The composer wrote a set of six string quartets for Count Anton Apponyi, a chamberlain at the Imperial Court. The set was broken up into two groups of three and sold to separate publishers, thus becoming the Op 71 and Op 74 Quartets, both released this month by the acclaimed Takács Quartet.
The quartets possess an orchestral sonority, and the frequent modulations, dynamic variations and increasingly virtuosic writing can be derived from elements of the six London Symphonies. They demonstrate the composer’s astonishing elegance, lyricism and his immense skill in fusing the profound with the light-hearted.
In these compelling interpretations the Takács Quartet display an absolute unanimity of tone and style and cement their reputation as one of today’s greatest string quartets.
String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 1 in C major
String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 2 in F major
String Quartet, Op. 74 No. 3 in G minor 'The Rider'