Of course, the London Haydn Quartet play more than just Haydn, but their series of recordings for Hyperion of that composer’s complete string quartets has always felt just a little bit special. They began their survey way back in 2007 with the Op. 9 quartets and have been working their way chronologically forwards ever since. Now they have arrived at the mighty Op. 76 set, for many the apogee of Haydn’s craft, and like their other issues it blows away a fair number of cobwebs. Still one of the few surveys to be played on gut strings, these are lean, mean and thoroughly imaginative performances full of ideas and bursting with energy. Clive Pagetcaught up with violinists Catherine Manson and Michael Gurevich to find out what’s so special about the Op. 76, quartets and what a historically informed approach brings to Haydn.
The London Haydn Quartet
When and how did the group form, and what led you to name your ensemble after both Haydn and the city of London?
Catherine Manson:The London Haydn Quartet was...