Haydn String Quartet in C, Op.76 no.3 "Kaiser"
When Haydn wrote his Opus 76 set of quartets, he did not have public quartet performances in mind. Rather, the works - commissioned by Count Joseph Erdödy and also named after him - were written to be enjoyed in private by the distinguished. The Count kept them for his own exclusive use for two years before the works were even published.
It is a small stroke of irony, then, that these quartets have become one of the most basic staples of the string quartet repertoire. The most popular quartet of these six would probably be this one in C major, dubbed "Kaiser" or "Emporer". In fact, this piece could easily be said to be the most famous of all string quartets.
Perhaps Haydn was aware of the fact that chamber music was
becoming an increasingly public phenomenon. As public chamber
concerts began to appear, Haydn's quartet writing style also began
to take on a more "public" voice. So even though the opus 76 was
written for the enjoyment of a select few, Haydn's creative voice
had grown so that anyone could listen to and enjoy it.
Hear the Entire Piece
Movement 1 | Movement 2 | Movement 3 | Movement 4
Recorded: in the TJHSST Auditorium on June 28 - 29, 1999
Violins: Michael Wilber, 1st; Laura Carr, 2nd;
Viola: Debdeep Maji;
Cello: Charles Han;
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