Pietro Nardini: Complete String Quartets / Quarteto Eleusi


This Brilliant Classics CD contains the complete string quartets of Italian composer and violinist Pietro Nardini (1722-1793) performed by Quartetto Eleusi. Coming as they do from the time - from the decade actually - that the classical string quartet form as we know it emerged, these quartets are an interesting sample of music in the genre from a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart.

Nardini became involved in the string quartet genre, both as performer and composer, just as the form as we know it was developing. He performed in a quartet with colleagues Filippo Manfredi, Giuseppe Cambini and Luigi Boccherini beginning in 1765. During this same decade, his quartets and other pieces began to be published across Europe and his name became well known in musical circles. The fact that the String Quartets of Op. 1 by Haydn were published only a few years before, between 1762 and 1764, illustrates how quickly Nardini was in the game.

The works were written early enough in the development of the quartet that they are not constructed in the familiar four movement form that was established and accepted later with Haydn's Op. 9 set. Haydn's earliest quartets of Opp. 1 & 2 all consist of five movements. In the case of each of the six quartets recorded here, Nardini gets the job done in only two or three movements!

So what do they sound like? They certainly sound like string quartets from the early classical period with intimations of Boccherini, Haydn and Mozart. I've included a brief and enjoyable Allegro from the String Quartet No. 5 as my sample for this recommendation. Brilliant Classic makes this available to us at a very attractive price.

Pietro Nardini - Complete String Quartets Brilliant Classics CD 94438