String Quartet in B-flat Major Hob. III/78 "Sunrise"
String Quartet in D Major Hob. III/79
String Quartet in E-flat Major Hob. III/80
As the "inventor" of the string quartet, Haydn holds a unique place in the history of chamber music. The Salzburg-based Hagen Quartett, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, honors the composer with two concerts presenting his landmark Opus 76 over the course of a morning and an afternoon. The last set of string quartets Haydn completed, the six works are among his most ambitious chamber compositions and point the way to the later achievements of Beethoven and Schubert. The third quartet takes its popular nickname, "Emperor," from a set of variations on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" in the slow movement, a melody that Haydn wrote as an anthem for Emperor Francis II—and that is better known today as the German national anthem.
These concerts are part of the Quartet Festival.