HAYDN String Quartets Op. 9 no. 4, Op. 50 no. 2, Op. 76 no. 1
Wigmore Hall Live – WHLIVE0032

*Editor’s Choice* – Gramophone Magazine
*Editor’s Choice* - Classic FM Magazine
- Musica (Italy)

With their trademark wonderful timing, here comes a disc from the Dorics to remind us why they have been mentioned in this issue’s cover story as one of the finest young string quartets. There is, properly, a seriousness to their Haydn here as well as a polish that marks them out as musicians with fascinating things to say.
*Editor’s Choice*
Gramophone Magazine – February 2010
James Inverne

The Doric’s Haydn sparkles with wit on their impressive first recording…their very auspicious recording debut.

Gramophone Magazine – February 2010
Nalen Anthoni

The Dorics might scarcely look as if they are beyond their gap years, but their first commercial recording shows them to be musically fully matured. Haydn’s music is deceptively challenging. How to balance and weigh the sound at any given moment? How to judge the right measure of wit and substance? How to avoid over selling with mannered articulation, or underselling by being too shy about personalising a performance? It’s a fine line to tread, but the Dorics give us a direct link to the composer’s genial and touching inventiveness; and, indeed, move us in the beautiful slow movements.

The Sunday Times – November 15th 2009
Steven Pettitt

The Doric Quartet plays Haydn extremely well; more than that, these musicians look beyond the notes and find much that is bountiful and rewarding.
The opening of the early D minor String Quartet is surprisingly dark and suspense-filled, the Doric players working as one and sounding sinewy yet transparent. The Minuet, while not free of tensions, has an attractive flow to it, expressive in its buoyancy, with the Trio again finding these musicians exploring timbre, here rather rustic in effect. With a slow movement that borders on the blissful, and which is here eloquently turned, and a finale that returns to the stresses of the opening movement, the Doric members once again spot-on with their choice of tempo, this is a notable example of how to play Haydn in the Classical manner while appreciating his depth and his caprice.
Following what might have been music to underestimate – and therefore the Doric Quartet has produced a revelatory performance – the relaxed tempo for the opening movement of the work in C major might surprise for something marked Vivace, yet the playing is so elegantly lyrical that one is convinced (and, of course, Haydn is the master of surprises). The fragile beauty of the slow movement is tenderly revealed, the Minuet’s twists relished, and the finale dispatched with gusto. As for the great G major String Quartet, which proudly leads-off the Opus 76 set, its playfulness, ear-catching adjuncts and affability ideally captured, such a lively spirit then contrasts with the profound slow movement, the scurrying scherzo-like Minuet, and the trenchant, texturally busy finale.
With the smile-inducing finale of Opus 50/Number 1 offered as a fitting and jokey encore, this excellently recorded and annotated release can be heartily recommended, a notable recorded debut for the Doric Quartet’s imaginative and penetrating music-making that will soon grace the Chandos label.

classicalsource.com – November 17th 2009
Colin Anderson

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