The first three of Joseph Haydn’s miraculous Opus 76 String Quartets – this great composer on an exalted roll – enjoy vibrant outings from the Chiaroscuro Quartet, led by Alina Ibragimova, a period-conscious group that nevertheless makes a colourful sound, with much attention given to phrasing and dynamics, displaying an interactive relish for this ever-inventive music that communicates directly and timelessly with the listener. Whatever the tempo or the mood of the twelve movements, each one a new adventure, these players’ judgement is illuminating: the Adagio of the G-major Quartet (No.1) is especially soulful, for example, and although there are times when some vibrato would be welcome, one can only admire the address afforded to detail and also the musicians’ pliable approach to expression as well as the smiles-all-round at Haydn’s wit, contrasted by the drama and pathos underlying the first movement of the D-minor ‘Fifths’ Quartet. All repeats are observed including sonata movements’ second halves (structurally important and making for significant musical points) and the four instruments are captured ideally by Fabian Frank’s tangible recording, produced by Andrew Keener in the Sendesaal, Bremen. BIS BIS-2348 [SACD]. No doubt Quartets IV-VI will follow in due course. By the way, please remember to stand when the slow movement of the ‘Emperor’ is reached.