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on 22 January 2015
Quatuor Mosaïcs play on period instruments, or to use splendid French parlance, "Sur les instruments d'epoque". In their hands it sounds wonderfully natural and perfect for the music. The collection begins with the first great quartets Haydn produced (Opus 20). It takes in more selected complete sets up to his late Op. 77. Op. 76 contains the quartet with the famous "Emperor's Hymn" movement in its sweet innocent form exalting Austria's Emperor Joseph, before the North Germans renamed it and nabbed it as their National Anthem - it was that good. Another treasurable inclusion is the less often heard Op. 51, known by English speakers under the title "The last seven words of our saviour on the cross". This differs greatly from Haydn's usual four-movement layout. This was due to an exacting (to put it mildly) request from the Canon at Cadiz Cathedral for the by then widely famous composer to provide meditative non-vocal music backdrop with just a sparse number of players and consisting ENTIRELY of slow movements to conjure the mood appropriate to each saying. This struck a chord in Haydn and he met the challenge head-on superbly. In addition he provided dramatic "bookends", an Introduction and a short, sharp end-piece depicting the earthquake aftermath, making nine movements in total. I found this a unique experience, peculiarly suited to contemplative listening on good audio equipment and maybe even via this giving some idea of how it must have deeply affected the Spanish congregation for which it was intended. I urge anyone, no matter of what persuasion in religion or the non-religious, or even those with different music interests, to sit quietly and absorb this beautiful work. It may move you as it did for me. The recorded sound throughout this gem of a collection of reissues, at an attractive price, is first rate. Recommended for all enthusiasts of Haydn's 'chamber' works at their most influential and visionary.
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on 31 January 2014
What can I add to the many critical accolades this quartet has gathered? When the individual albums in this series were first published I was sorely tempted to acquire them but hesitated at the full album price. Now in this boxed set all my Christmases have come at once! The playing, balance of the instruments and capture of the room acoustics are all in the highest class and the price for the box is a real bargain - I just couldn't resist and I'm delighted I didn't!
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on 19 December 2013
It's wonderful to have all these great recordings together in a box at long last. Get it while you can.... Five stars plus plus plus. Some of their Haydn discs, such as Op. 76/77, have been hard to purchase, save for high prices on the used market. The Quatour Mosaiques performances will truly convince you of Papa Haydn's greatness and glory in the string quartet, should you need convincing. For me, their recordings have proved the beginning of a lifelong love of Haydn. Desert island discs for me.
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This magnificent box contains contain all ten discs of Haydn quartets so far recorded by Quatuor Mosaiques and is a truly outstanding collection of recordings at a remarkably low price.

Haydn's String Quartets are wonderful works full of melody, invention, intensity and wit. They are among my favourite works in the canon because there is such great variety and joy in them and you can always hear something new. Quatuor Mosaiques play them superbly. They are a "period" quartet who play on gut strings and with little or no vibrato, which gives a clear, warm sound and a distinctive (and to me delightful) style to the quartets. The musicians themselves are brilliant: they have established themselves as one of the world's leading quartets, and listening to these discs it is easy to see why. They play with a fluency, grace and precision which brings out all the charm and profundity in Haydn's music, and they really understand that Haydn often said serious things in a witty way. The slow movements are often truly moving, and others genuinely make me smile every time.

I think that these performances are unsurpassed by any of the great quartets who have recorded them and they have given me immense pleasure for years. Now that they are re-released at this price for all ten discs they're a monumental bargain, too, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. I am sure these recordings will form a loved cornerstone of your collection as they do in mine.

Update: May 2016
The reviewer on BBC Radio 3's Building A Library has chosen this recording of the Op.77 No.1 quartet as the finest available. Summing up, she said " The search is not for a good recording, it is for the perfect recording. For me, that is Quatuor Mosaiques." I agree.
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on 22 February 2014
Best set of Haydn quartets there is. HIP performance, wonderful ensemble playing, beautiful string sound, exemplary recording. Lives up to the hype.
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on 14 March 2016
These quartets are well researched and played.I am absolutely delighted with my purchase.For my taste they are an excellent investment and if you like this kind of music,I think you will enjoy them.Before I had a stroke I was a classical guitarist and lutenist,but string quartets have always been my favourite music for my listening for pleasure.
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on 19 December 2014
All too often Haydn has lived in the shadow of his illustrious successors Mozart & Beethoven and now finally he's come into the light. These 10 discs of his quartets by the Quator Mosaiques underline the fact that he stands alongside all the musical giants. For anyone who like myself adore string quartets, these recordings would be hard to better. Quality of playing, interpretation and sound quality five stars all round! Not to be missed...........!
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on 17 May 2016
The Haydn quartets on the 10 discs have been superbly played and recorded. The beauty of the music goes beyond technical excellence and has an ethereal quality that reaches deep into your very being and reminds you of all the things that are truly important. Highly recommended.
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on 12 May 2016
In their heyday the Lindsays were frequently criticised for the all-too-audible sniffs on their recordings. These days critics hardly ever mention such audible sniffing. Since I find it intensely irritating, I felt I should warn potential buyers that it features in this set by the Mosaiques. In particular, I find some of the slow movements here unbearable for this reason. In case it needs saying, the performances themselves are superb.
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