Mornings with a Masterpiece: Haydn’s String Quartets

Rosemary Broadbent

The significance of the sixty-eight string quartets written by Josef Haydn cannot be
underestimated. These works established a genre which has challenged (and terrified)
composers ever since. It has become a medium for formal exploration, technical innovation,
and for the communication of the deepest emotions. It can be both entertaining for audiences
and deeply satisfying for the performers.
In a short course it is not possible to cover the whole of Haydn’s treasure house of
works, but we shall take a detailed look at two sets of quartets which are particularly
rewarding to study. The six quartets of Opus 20 were written when Haydn was forty, and
well-established as Kapellmeister to the Esterházy family, whom he served for more than
forty years. The music is exploratory, both in form and in emotional expression, reflecting the
sensibilities of the 1770s.

Twenty-five years later Opus 76 appeared, the last set of six quartets, although some
individual works were to follow. By this time, Haydn was a well-travelled celebrity, but his
enthusiasm for experiment was undimmed. This collection includes some of his most popular
works, including the ‘Emperor’ and the ‘Fifths’ quartets.

Thursday October 10 th 10am – 12.30pm Six quartets Opus 20
Thursday October 17th 10am – 12.30pm Six quartets Opus 76

Each morning will consist of two one-hour lecture/discussions delivered via Zoom. There
will be a break for coffee, during which the meeting will remain open for informal

Day:  Thursdays         Time: 10.00-12.30 GMT


Price for an Individual Lecture: 

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£15 5 24

Price for both lectures: 

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£27 5 24

Please send bookings and enquiries to:
Rosemary Broadbent, 26 Bowden Lane, Marple, Stockport SK6 6ND
email:   phone: 07801-491031
Cheques payable to Rosemary Broadbent. Details for bank transfer will be supplied on
request. Bookings close one week before each event.
For information on online and face-to-face talks visit: