The Hagen Quartet had been invited by the Auditorium du Louvre and played a programme dedicated to Franz Josef Haydn.
The Austrian quartet was formed in 1981, with 4 brothers and sisters Hagen, coming from Salzburg. During its 35 years of activity they were few member changes, the excellent Rainer Schmidt taking the 2nd violin role in 1987.
1st work, Quartet op. 76 No. 1, Hob.III.75, with a very fine opening Allegro con spirito and a superbly played Adagio.
2nd pièce, Quartet op. 76 No. 3, Hob.III.77. Nicknamed « The Emperor », its name comes from the reuse of a theme written by Haydn for the Austrian Emperor in the 2nd movement, Poco adagio cantabile. The Hagens gave an admirable reading of the movement.
3rd and last Quartet , op. 76 No. 5, Hob.III.79, with again a miracle of a slow movement, Largo cantabile e mesto, and a superb Finale Presto, one of those Haydn had the genius for.
The Hagens moved away from Haydn for the encore, playing the 2nd movement, Molto vivace, from Dvořák 14th Quartet.