Haydn’s invention never flagged. This is the third of Haydn's great C major quartets, and it must rank as one of his most original works, certainly the one with the most prophetic innovations. After a lively and inventive opening, he follows with a profound passacaglia-like slow movement that leads directly into the Minuet. It is the Finale that is the show-stopper, a chorale-like Adagio that in this context quite takes the breath away.
It is a courageous Quartet that takes on the Shostakovich Tenth. It is a measure of the composer’s stature that he was even allowed to publish such a devastating work where he unleashed both his fury and his bitter sarcasm. He dedicated it to Weinberg with whom he had an ongoing quartet competition. Listening to this work one cannot but wonder how today’s Russian composers are reacting to the new dictatorship.