This, along with Op.50 Nos 1-3, is another very welcome re-release of two of the Lindsays' excellent series of Haydn recordings.
The Op. 50 Quartets haven't been recorded as much as some of Haydn's other sets, which I find hard to understand. I think they are just as good as any of Haydn's quartets - which makes them very good indeed. There is something of a Sturm und Drang feel about them in places, with an intense chromaticism cropping up even in some of the minuets, but Haydn's characteristic wit and good humour is never far away and these quartets are full of them, as well as being full of melody and brilliant harmonic invention. I love them.
The performances are very good. As so often with The Lindsays, they care more about interpretation than technical perfection so the ensemble playing isn't always as precise as it might be and there are a couple of the traditional Lindsays' moments of dodgy tuning. You also hear Peter Cropper sniffing from time to time, but I can easily live with all of this for the verve, depth, tenderness and sheer joy they bring to the music and I find their interpretations completely engrossing.
The recorded sound is very good and the notes detailed and interesting, and I warmly recommend both discs. The only recording I know which I like as much as this one is by the Angeles Quartet, and that is only available as a part of their compete cycle. For a really good recording you can't go wrong with this one, I'd say, especially now it's at budget price.