Day 85: Christmas Surprise, Part II

HaydnCD85Yesterday, I discovered that the music on Haydn CDs 84 and 85 (which constitutes Op. 33 Nos 1-6) is called the “Russian” quartets and that these compositions likely made their debut on Christmas Day, 1781.

Serendipitously, I am listening to these quartets nearly 282 years later to the day.

I hadn’t planned it that way.

When I started listening to the complete works of Haydn on October 1, 2013, I had no clue that 85 days later I’d be listening to quartets Haydn premiered over two and a half centuries ago.

But, here it is, 9:09pm (Eastern Time) on Christmas Eve, 2013. It is already Christmas Day in Europe. I’m sipping a 2011 German Riesling and listening to Haydn’s quartets.

Haydn String Quartet Op. 33 No. 3 in C (nickname: “The Bird”)

According to the Wiki article on Haydn’s Op. 33,

The first movement opens with a melody in the first violin featuring repeated notes. Grace notes are inserted between the repeated notes which gives the melody a “birdlike quality” and hence gives the quartet its nickname.

Movement I (“Allegro moderato”) is a slow way to start tonight’s CD, especially after the build-up I gave it in my mind. A little slower than I usually like. Movement II (“Scherzo: Allegretto”) and Movement III (“Adagio, ma non troppo”) weren’t much peppier. But Movement IV (“Rondo: Presto”) saved Op. 33 No. 3. My wife, listening from the kitchen, said, Continue reading