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  Praga Digitals -
  PRD/DSD 250 212
  Haydn: String Quartets Op. 74 - Kocian Quartet
  Haydn: String Quartets Op. 74 Nos. 1-3 "Apponyi"

Kocian Quartet
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 7 show all

Reviews: 3

Review by Beagle January 29, 2005 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Although orchestral sound and SACD seem made for each other, SACD and chamber music seem to have an uneasy relationship. The smaller chamber target seems harder to hit 'just right'. Praga and the Prazak-Quartet get it exquisitely right with the Schubert Quintet and String Quartet no. 7; the same label and group strike me as too In-Your-Face with dynamics on both the Beethoven op. 18 and the opp. 74, 95 discs. Is it recording engineer, studio space, mike placement -- or just luck?

Here with Haydn's Apponyi quartets, op. 74, Praga plus Kocian-Quartet get very lucky. The 4 instruments occupy a wide stage, and the listener is seated comfortably back from the spray of rosin and horse-hair. One imagines a wood-paneled venue warmed by a fireplace, with constantly replenished glasses of fine sherry. Haydn has a reputation for humour, but not everyone can tell a joke. This disc grins knowingly at you, and you'll find yourself smiling back. Five out of five, or 99 out of 100 stars for Praga + Kocian; I will rate all future quartet recordings against this disc.

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Review by analogue September 14, 2012 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
If someone were to ask me who Haydn was and what string quartets are..I would ask him to sample this sacd. Although recorded in 2004 and since sacd quality has really gotten much better since then.....I still have to say that this disc has excellent sonics. And its a pure Dsd recording all the way.

These three selections feature some of the most elegant and beautiful Haydn string pieces there are. They are life affirming and meditative. A sheer pleasure.

Sonically this is a very good listen and has great dimensional aspects and layering. There is a delicate robustness and sensitivity to the playing that is a great joy to hear and one gets lost in the music. Perhaps....just maybe the sound quality could have been even better if some of the newest hardware was used but I cant be certain. One thing that is certain however is that the actual performance could not be better. At least for my tastes anyway.

The recording is excellent too but one has to know what to expect. Just how powerful can four musicians playing string instruments get??? This is not rock music. Nevertheless the sound is extremely impressive with good three dimensional layering of the instruments. also IMPRESSIVE IS THE WAY THAT dsd captures the many string tones when played fast and in unison. This includes the cello's lower harmonics separately from the violins and viola. There are four members playing here and that's exactly what you hear at all times in great detail each contributing to the overall feel of this great music..

If you like Haydn and his string quartets I cant recommend this sacd to you with any more confidence.

Outstanding sacd and very cheap.

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Review by nickc March 24, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I defy anyone to listen to the first minute of this disc and not feel a smile stealing on to your face - Haydn's string quartets are such joyous works! Listen to the finales of the 1st. and 3rd. quartets and your feet will start tapping to the music.
These are excellent modern instrument performances by the Kocian Quartet; a quartet I hadn't heard before but will now keep an eye on.
The recording is excellent but a tiny bit harsh at higher dynamic levels. At the level I usually set my rears there was not a lot of ambience so I turned them up a few notches and things improved. The cello really "buzzes" when called upon to - for some funny reason I always feel that the improvement in the cello's sound is one of the best things about SACD (maybe also because it's my favourite string instrument!).
By my count from opus 20 to opus 76 Haydn wrote more than 40 great string quartets, so, Praga what about my favourite set (opus 20) next please?

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Works: 3  

Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 72 in C major, Hob. III:72 Op. 74 No. 1 (Apponyi)
Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 73 in F major, Hob. III:73 Op. 74 No. 2 (Apponyi)
Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 74 in G minor, Hob. III:74 Op. 74 No. 3 (Apponyi) "Rider"