For more than 20 years, the Haydn Quartet has been the ‘quartet in residence’ in Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, where Joseph Haydn worked from 1761 until his death in 1809. • Besides Haydn, the four musicians’ repertoire extends above all to works by Haydn’s less known composer colleagues, who have almost fallen into oblivion due to the fame of the great maestro – a merit that cannot be rated highly enough. Apart from Haydn’s String Quartet in F minor op.55 No.2 (with the sobriquet of ‘Razor Quartet’ according to an anecdote that can be read in the accompanying text), you can hear the String Quartet in G minor op.2 No.3 by Haydn’s pupil Ignaz Joseph Pleyel, the String Quartet in D minor by Carl Czerny and the Fugue No.4 in C minor (from ‘VI Fugues in Quartets’) by Haydn’s predecessor Gregor Joseph Werner on this recording from the famous Haydn Hall, with its incomparable acoustics. • From the Haydn Quartet's seat in the castle, Fritz Kircher, Martin Kocsis, Gerswind Olthoff and Nikolai New undertake extended tours in nearly every country of Europe as well as in Asia and America. The Quartet has played in Carnegie Hall in New York and has performed several times in the famous National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. On its frequent Far East tours it has given concerts in, among other places, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, at the Macau Festival and most recently at the Music Conservatory in Beijing where its members also gave master classes. On the occasion of the Haydn Jubilee Year in 2009, the quartet held a cycle of 18 concerts in the Imperial Church of St Michael in Vienna with all 69 string quartets by Joseph Haydn. In recent years, the Haydn Quartet has increasingly devoted itself to contemporary music, giving composer-portraits and first performances.
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