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Press release date: March 2020



Haydn Op 20 Quartets Volume 2 – Quartets Nos 1, 4 & 6

Resonus Classics RES10262
Release date: 1 May 2020

Haydn connects old and new worlds in his Opus 20 and thereby creates an all-encompassing universe.

Dudok Quartet

In this second volume of Haydn’s Opus 20 String Quartets, the Dudok Quartet completes the picture of the composer as a narrator of his time and society, as well as a visionary who introduced a diversity of rhetorical and stylistic devices that paved the way for the likes of Mozart and Beethoven through to Schubert and Brahms in the string quartet genre. While Volume I (Nos 2, 3 & 5) largely explored the dramatic and emotional aspects of his music, this second selection (Nos 1, 4 & 6) reveals his optimism and capacity for wit and surprise.

Haydn remains the Quartet’s most beloved composer whose works were the very first they played together. His music continues to guide their hands and minds when exploring repertoire from before and after his time. Like the first Opus 20 volume, this latest recording for Resonus Classics was made at Muziekcentrum van de Omroep in Hilversum (Netherlands), also using the bespoke new bows crafted by Netherlands-based Luis Emilio Rodriguez Carrington especially for these recitals.

As well as this Haydn project and being a co-sponsor for the new bows, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust is also supporting the Quartet’s innovative new venture inspired by the extraordinary life and paintings of 17th century artist Artemisia Gentileschi. The project features the Dudok Quartet, recorder player Erik Bosgraaf and soprano Michaela Riener with commissioned scores from composers Josephine Stephenson and Antti Auvinen and re-working of music by Artemesia’s contemporaries including Gesualdo. The ‘Artemisia Project’ was work-shopped at Aldeburgh last summer and is being further developed for future presentation.


  • Repertoire: ranges from Ligeti, Shostakovich and Weinberg to Mendelssohn, Mozart and Beethoven. The Quartet constantly explores new pathways and connections in music. They regularly perform their own arrangements of pieces including Gesualdo, des Prez and Brahms.
  • Collaboration: recent partners have included Pieter Wispelwey, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Hannes Minnaar, Erik Bosgraaf and Annelien Van Wauwe.
  • Performances: major European venues and festivals including Vienna Konzerthaus, Beethoven Haus Bonn, De Doelen, Carinthischer Sommer Festival, Gergiev Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Festival Jeunes Talents, Festival Quatuors à Bordeaux and the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, as well as appearing regularly at Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw. US debut January 2018 at Northwestern University Winter Chamber Music Festival, with future US plans including its New York debut at the Park Avenue Armory. Other recent highlights include engagements in Milan, Mantova, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Heidelberg String Quartet Festival.
  • Recordings: In 2015 released first recording on Resonus Classics label. Métamorphoses explores theme of musical innovation through works by Ligeti, Haydn and Brahms and was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, with the Quartet praised by The Guardian for its ‘lithe, lively sound and alert sense of structure and detail’. Second highly acclaimed release, Labyrinth, explores the use of counterpoint in works by Mozart, Ligeti and Bach. The third, Solitude, (2018) features works by Mendelssohn, Weinberg and Shostakovich curated around the theme of loss and loneliness – ‘an intense listening experience that will have you on the edge of your seat’ (The Strad).
  • Projects: include world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Only the Sound Remains with Philippe Jaroussky and Dutch National Opera and a collaboration with director Rosabel Huguet re-imagining Beethoven’s Op 132 String Quartet for children. Entitled “Quartet! A card game with Beethoven” the Quartet takes the project to venues including the Vienna Konzerthaus, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Flagey and De Doelen as part of its ongoing commitment to education and outreach work.
  • Inception: First met as members of the Ricciotti Ensemble, a Dutch street symphony orchestra. Studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet and later at the Dutch String Quartet Academy with Marc Danel of the Danel Quartet. Other important mentors include Eberhard Feltz, Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet), Luc-Marie Aguera (Quatuor Ysaÿe) and Stefan Metz.
  • Name: the Quartet is named after celebrated Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok (1884-1974) who was from a musical family and also composed in his spare time; “I feel deeply the common core of music and architecture: after all, they both derive their value from the right proportions.
  • Awards: 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition Weimar and the prestigious Dutch Kersjes Prize (2014).
  • Instruments: generously on loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF); violins by
    Francesco Goffriller and Vincenzo Panormo, viola by Max Möller and cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. The new bows were commissioned with the help of a private sponsor, Stichting Eigen Muziekinstrument, Kersjes Foundation and Borletti-Buitoni Trust.

Critical praise for Haydn String Quartets Opus 20 Vol I:

…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

…verve and colour in its brilliant allegretto … elegant poise to the minuet and trio … aching dignity in the adagio … so brilliantly captured here by the Dudoks and beautifully recorded.

Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, 6 October 2019

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

…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, November 2019

CD Cover design: Daan van der Horst with photograph by Marco Borggreve