Haydn: Opus 54 Quatuor Psophos
- Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809): String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2, Hob.III:57:
- 1Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2, Hob.III:57: I. Vivace06:09
- 2Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2, Hob.III:57: II. Adagio04:11
- 3Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2, Hob.III:57: III. Menuet. Allegretto03:09
- 4Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2, Hob.III:57: IV. Finale. Adagio - Presto06:30
- String Quartet in G Major, Op. 54 No. 1, Hob.III:58:
- 5Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 54 No. 1, Hob.III:58: I. Allegro con brio04:58
- 6Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 54 No. 1, Hob.III:58: II. Allegretto05:06
- 7Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 54 No. 1, Hob.III:58: III. Menuet03:25
- 8Haydn: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 54 No. 1, Hob.III:58: IV. Finale03:33
- String Quartet in E Major, Op. 54 No. 3, Hob.III:59:
- 9Haydn: String Quartet in E Major, Op. 54 No. 3, Hob.III:59: I. Allegro05:36
- 10Haydn: String Quartet in E Major, Op. 54 No. 3, Hob.III:59: II. Largo cantabile08:34
- 11Haydn: String Quartet in E Major, Op. 54 No. 3, Hob.III:59: III. Menuet - Allegretto03:03
- 12Haydn: String Quartet in E Major, Op. 54 No. 3, Hob.III:59: IV. Finale. Presto04:07
Info for Haydn: Opus 54
Composed in 1788 and considered works of Haydn's full maturity as a composer, the quartets of Opus 54 immerse us in the bountiful universe of "the Father of the String Quartet". Like with the Adagio of Op. 54 no. 2, his humanity and profundity fill us with wonder and remind us to what extent the very essence of the string quartet is exalted in this music. 2020 marked a renewal for the Psophos Quartet with the arrival of Mathilde Borsarello Herrmann, and the emergence of various projects driven by a common desire to share, transmit and give body and soul to music. Founded in 1997 at the National Conservatory of Music in Lyon, the quartet then perfected it's skills with the Ysaÿe Quartet and under the aegis of Walter Levin in Basel, enriched it's knowledge. Curiosity leads the Psophos Quartet towards new artists, actors and directors. For three years, the Psophos Quartet has been in residence at the Athénée-Théâtre Louis Jouvet in Paris where it produces it's own series of chamber music concerts.
Joseph Haydn's string quartet oeuvre, as extensive as it may seem at first glance, is nevertheless easily comprehensible today thanks to its division into printed series of works, whose opus numbers have, in a sense, become the second identity for the quartets. In Haydn's time, publishers in Paris or Offenbach did not usually care about the opus numbers under which the same quartets had appeared in Vienna or Paris. For this reason, the quartets op. 54, for example, have a wide variety of opus numbers in the original printings, and it was only in the reprints of the 19th century that a kind of international canon with the now familiar counting became established. The latter is also useful because it allows the stylistic development of Haydn's quartets to be divided into clear stages. Opus 20, for example, is the great experimental cycle before the discovery of the "classical style" that Haydn established in Opus 33. Opus 50 shows the strongest monothematic work, Opus 64 the influence of Mozart, Opus 71 an increasing tendency towards the symphonic, and so on.
Opus 54 occupies an outsider's role in this development. For one thing, the cycle consists of only three, not six quartets; for another, the forms of the three quartets are so unusual that they must be understood as experiments. The Quartet in C major, op. 54, 2, begins with a Vivace in the usual sonata form, but with a completely new understanding of its harmonic possibilities. The first theme, which should actually carry out the basic key broadly, is immediately shifted to G, A flat and A flat, effectively interrupted by general pauses. These harmonic surprises do not cease in the course of the movement. The slow movement and minuet form a unity in the quartet: the C minor Adagio ends on a half-final, which is followed attaca by the minuet - again with a C minor trio. The finale is the strangest of all. It begins with a slow introduction which, in a sense, fails to make room for the Rondo: it is spun out broadly before the Rondo-Presto finally appears to begin; at the end, of course, the Adagio returns. The quartet was commissioned by the Viennese violinist and "grand negotiator" Johann Tost, who also commissioned Haydn's op. 55 and 64 as well as Mozart's last two string quintets. As in all these works, the first violin is given virtuoso prominence here: with trill figures, running movement and - in the Adagio - in the style alla zingarese.
"The French players of the Psophos Quartet, probably the best young string group in Europe, attacked this miniature fantasy on three notes with the same passion, faultless intonation and ensemble precision we heard in Schumann, Beethoven and Dutilleux." (Geoff Brown, The Times)
2020 marks a renewal for the Psophos Quartet with the arrival of Mathilde Borsarello Herrmann and the emergence of various projects driven by a common desire to share, transmit and give body and soul to music. Founded in 1997 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, the quartet then went on to perfect its skills with the Ysaÿe Quartet and, under the aegis of Walter Levin in Basel, enriched its knowledge. Master classes with the great quartets Amadeus, Berg, LaSalle, Hagen, within the Proquartet will forge the Psophos' passionate commitment.
The Quartet has subsequently won numerous international prizes, from Osaka, Florence and London to the 1st Grand Prize of the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in 2001. It was also the first French quartet to be selected by the BBC's prestigious New Generation Artist in London and was nominated in 2005 for the Victoires de la musique. They were then invited to perform in prestigious venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The "Folles journées" (Nantes, Tokyo, Lisbon, Warsaw), the "Prom's" and many other festivals mark out his career and give him the opportunity to play with great musicians such as Bertrand Chamayou, Juliana Steinbach, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Nemanja Radulovic...
Curiosity leads the Psophos Quartet to new artists, actors and directors. For three years, the Psophos Quartet is in residence at the Athénée Théâtre Louis Jouvet in Paris where it produces its own series of chamber music concerts. They performed at the Théâtre National de Chaillot and the Opéra de Lyon, notably with the choreographer and dancer Philippe Decouflé. In collaboration with Christophe Malavoy, he created the show "Qui se souviendra" which toured for a year in Paris and in France. The quartet has recorded numerous albums, all of which have received critical acclaim.
A beautiful encounter with Jean-Marie Machado and Dave Liebman led them to jazz with "Painting notes in the air", which they recorded on the album Media Luz. Recent recordings include the first quartets of Brahms and Dohnanyi, as well as the disc "Chansons perpétuelles", the result of a magnificent collaboration with the Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux. The variety of the Psophos Quartet's discography is indicative of the desire of its members to constantly feed off different musical worlds and to be at the crossroads of their desires. Their latest album "Constellations", a tribute to French composers, is a testimony of enchanting sounds: Ravel, Debussy, Dutilleux.
The Psophos Quartet attaches great importance to the influence that music can have if it is shared by all. After having supported the Rive association in the fight against AIDS by giving charity concerts in the Indian Ocean for years, the Psophos Quartet has also committed itself to the Paris Mozart Orchestra to play in suburban schools and prisons throughout the year.
In 2019 the Quartet has joined forces with the Artie's collective to travel to Cambodia to meet the children of the association "Pour un sourire d'enfant" and to introduce them to classical music...