Although 30 years separated the composition of Bloch's first and second string quartets, only 5 years intervened between the second and third. His Second won a NY Music Critics Circle Award in 1947, though I find the Third a more interesting and polished work. The Third quartet has a variety of emotions lacking in the Second: although the andante in II and the adagio in III both contain lovely, even sublime, music, there's a confidence displayed in III that allows Bloch to show humor in broad strokes and a more sweeping lyricism. The Portland String Quartet also plays better in the Third and seems more comfortable with the music there than in the Second. The sound on the CD is good, though somewhat on the weak (as opposed to full-bodied) side.