Haydn Op 20 String Quartets Nos 1, 4 & 6 on Resonus Classics
The Dudoks, now recognised as one of the most stylish, open-minded and adventurous among younger ensembles, bring heady energy to all three quartets included here – Nos 1, 4 and 6
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 14 June 2020
This follow-up [to Vol 1] confirms the young Dutch ensemble’s Haydn credentials in performances that combine technical polish (immaculate timing, balance and ensemble), boundless vitality and a lively response to the specific character of each movement… I was exhilarated by the mingled virtuosity, finesse and coursing energy of these performances.
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone, June 2020
…the Dudok open the Allegro moderato of the E-flat Quartet sprightly [sic], bringing a transparency to the textures. I’ve found this performance particularly successful, communicative and commanding. The D major Quartet, even more than the previous performances of Op. 20, reveals an exceptional level of unity between the players, and the stylish playing makes them a pleasure to listen to. The minuet and trio have the occasional, stylish embellishment, creating an air of spontaneity. The Presto scherzando brings vivacity in this mostly serious reading. …Overall, the Dudok give performances that are essential listening for any chamber music or Haydn fan, with elements of both period sound and modern performance practice.
Leighton Jones, The Classic Review,11 May 2020
Haydn Op 20 Quartets Volume 1: Nos 2, 3 & 5
on Resonus Classics
At once the Dudok impresses with its responsiveness to gesture, not playing games with tempo but allowing the pulse to yield gently as the four-way conversation develops… This is chamber music for friends, not concert music for an audience … Throughout the disc the listener is drawn in closer as the stories become more personal… All is played with true assurance and understanding; and this ensemble’s care for structure is worthy of its architect namesake.
David Threasher, The Strad, January 2020
One of the lasting pleasures of this recording from the Dudok Quartet of Amsterdam is how well the musical argument is spread between the players… These are glorious performances, beautifully recorded and produced. Four rational people, conversing with eloquence, intelligence and absolutely no shouting. What could be better?
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 2 November 2019
…exemplary recordings of the string quartets opus 20: music with a deceptive and unparalleled simplicity and nobility and above all an enigmatic, immeasurable depth and lightness, that is, for the attentive listener, forever surprising and uplifting.
God, how beautiful this is.
Erik Voermans, Het Parool, 21 October 2019
We have seen before that these players can take on just about anything… The Dudok Quartet has combined repertoire from different style periods over the past few years (Mozart with Ligeti, Mendelssohn with Weinberg), resulting in a series of highly successful albums.
The players show once again the elegance in their interaction. They delicately topple over each other in the faster movements. The slow movements sound subdued but never collapse.
The fugal finales of the second and third quartets are subtle in their choice of tempo and played with crystal clear sound. Hopefully this album is the first in a long series of Haydn recordings.
Maartje Stokkers, De Volkskrant, 11 October 2019
Always alert to Haydn’s myriad caprices, [the Dudoks] introduce some perfectly placed, sinuous phrasing in the third movement of No 3 in G minor, and real verve and colour in its brilliant allegretto. There is an elegant poise to the minuet and trio of No 5 in F minor, then aching dignity in the adagio. Quartets 2 and 5 in the Op 20 set end with a fugue, played sotto voce and at breakneck speed, just one of Haydn’s playful innovations so brilliantly captured here by the Dudoks and beautifully recorded.