Of all Haydn’s many ‘jokes’ this has to be the most famous where, in his 94th Symphony, during the quiet start of the variations movement, he inserts a fortissimo chord, and then carries on as if nothing had happened.
But joking aside, this is a wonderful work, arranged from one of his most celebrated ‘London Symphonies’ with the typical four-movement format, it adapts perfectly as a viola quartet with every bit as much brilliance as any of his existing string quartets – but with the added bonus of being for viola foursome! How cool is that? 26 mins. M