F. J. Haydn:
String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 33
String Quartet No. 1 in G major, Op. 76
Joseph Haydn composed about seventy string quartets throughout his career and was highly influential in consolidating this instrumental formation as a musical genre in its own right. On this occasion, the Cosmos Quartet will perform the String Quartet No. 1, Op. 33 (1781) and the String Quartet No. 1, Op. 76 (1797), composed almost twenty years apart.
Haydn’s String Quartets, Op. 33, are known as the "Russian Quartets" because they were dedicated to the Grand Duke of Russia, future Tsar Paul I. The quartets are full of irony and wit. At the beginning of the first quartet, Haydn plays with ambiguity, letting the audience guess if it is written in D major or in B minor.
The String Quartets, Op. 76 are one of the last works that Haydn composed, when he was already extremely old. Dedicated to Count Erdődy, the first quartet of this series, written in G major, begins with three chords in tutti that are especially well-known and is structured in four movements, three of which are in sonata form. Again, Haydn oscillates between major and minor tones and, in fact, begins the last movement in G minor.
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