This box set collects all the Alban Berg Quartett's recordings for their first label, Teldec. The interpretations follow a fairly traditional trajectory and the playing is quite fine as one would expect of this ensemble.
The main event is the set of Mozart quartets, which is available separately Alban Berg Quartet Mozart: String Quartets Nos. 14 - 23). However, this set seems to cost the same if not less, so if you don't mind getting the Brahms quartets, Dvorak's 13th (Brahms: The String Quartets; Dvorák: String Quartet Op. 106), the second Viennese school works (Works for String Quartet), or Schubert's 9th and 13th (Schubert : String Quartets Nos. 9 & 13) and the two Haydns (opp. 74/3 and 76/3) which don't seem to be available elsewhere, you might consider this a worthy purchase. The packaging is fine, with individually labeled sleeves for each CD in a quality space-saving box. The liner notes are brief, focusing more on the ensemble than the featured works.
The sound quality is consistent throughout these recordings. It is a clear, bright, somewhat reverberant stereo sound with somewhat of a metallic glare. I have considered how it compares to the ABQ's studio Beethoven on EMI, but I can't decide which I prefer. The EMI set has a more open acoustic, whereas the Teldec set is perhaps better balanced, giving more weight to the viola and cello. Both have the same sort of glare, affecting in particular the upper registers.
With the understanding that these reprent very fine performances of all the works, I will offer some alternatives that I have come across that are perhaps equally satisfying interpretively and often more satisfying sonically. If the Mozart is all you're interested in, a couple digitally recorded sets worth looking into are the Petersen Quartet (Mozart: 6 String Quartets ("Haydn-Quartette"), Mozart "Prussian" Quartets / Petersen Quartet and Quatuor Mosaiques (Mozart: String Quartets /Quatuor Mosaiques). The Petersens have a sleek modern sound and lots of energy, whereas Mosaiques are on period instruments and take many of the allegros considerably slower. The late stereo Chilingirians (Mozart: The Ten Great String Quartets) take a very traditional middle-of-the-road approach in a somewhat muffled acoustic. The ABQ approach falls somewhere between the Petersens and Chilingirians in approach. EDIT: As a late addition I would like to strongly recommend that you consider The Suske Quartett (W.A.Mozart:String Quartets No.8-23). These are more relaxed, lyrical performances from the 1970s, recorded in lovely, well-balanced stereo sound.
As for the Brahms quartets, which are not necessarily the most beautiful works to begin with, I don't generally find myself wanting to listen to these performances due to the sometimes overbearing first violin. Also, I find the Emerson Quartet's intensity and strong vibrato somewhat exhausting in the face of these inherently dramatic works. My current recommendation would be for the Tokyo quartet, who manage to take the edge off of this sometimes "difficult" music (Brahms: Complete String Quartets).
The other miscellaneous works are given great performances. My favorites are probably the Dvorak and Haydn quartets. The last disc is the perfect taste of the second Viennese school for those nervous about purchasing a dedicated recording of atonal music.
This is a good introduction to any of the included works, and for those looking to get to know some of the ABQ's recorded legacy it seems like a no-brainer. Many of these performances are highly praised by critics and listeners alike. The ABQ are known for their tight ensemble, faultless intonation and for striking a good balance between energetic fast movements and lovely flowing slow movements. My only reservations with regards to this set have to do with the metallic glare of the otherwise fine recorded sound. However I still find many of these performances very enjoyable and return to this set frequently.