Haydn op. 20
Haydn op. 77
Beethoven op. 18/1,4
Even more pleasing was the last published of Haydn's complete string quartets, the F major (op. 77, no. 2), in which the clever handling of the formal outlines of each movement was noteworthy, like the transition from development to recapitulation in the first movement. The jokingly clumsy return from the trio to the minuetto, like a sputtering engine trying to get started (in a coda that haltingly gets us back from D-flat major to the home key), played right into the hemiola games of duple versus triple that unsettle the second movement. In general, second violinist Andrea Bischof seemed a little too retiring and could have brought out her occasional solos with more flair, while the perceptive and sonorous playing of cellist Christophe Coin marked him as the group's leader.
Robert Battey, Quatuor Mosaïques at the Library of Congress (Washington Post, April 20)
Vivien Schweitzer, Thankful and Soulful on the Road to Recovery (New York Times, April 20)
Alan G. Artner, Satisfying debut for the Mosaïques (Chicago Tribune, April 20)
David Patrick Stearns, Early-music quartet at the Kimmel (Philadelphia Inquirer, April 18)
The feast of HIP ensembles continues at the Library of Congress, with a concert by the Geringas Baryton Trio this Friday (April 24, 8 pm).