30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Great music, superbly played,
This review is from: Beethoven: String Quartets (Audio CD)
This double CD contains Beethoven's terrific "middle period" quartets - the three Op.59 "Rasoumovsky" quartets and the Op.74. It was the first volume issued in what is now a complete cycle by the Takacs, and which is regarded by many as one of the major musical achievements of the last few years. I agree - this is a simply wonderful set.
The Takacs Quartet are technically outstanding. Tuning is faultless and the precision of their playing together is quite remarkable. In the finale of Op.59 No.3, for example, Beethoven's final sprint for the finishing line is played with thrilling vigour and at a tremendous pace, but intonation and rhythm are rock solid, which cannot be said of some other recordings by leading quartets. Here we have four marvellous musicians playing brilliantly and absolutely at home with each other.
This bedrock of technique allows their wonderful interpretation of the music to shine out. In Beethoven's sublime slow movements, for example, there is exactly the right balance of sweetness and intensity - never cloying but never impenetrable. This excellence of interpretation runs right through the whole set and if you're looking for a recording of the Rasoumovsky Quartets you couldn't do better, I reckon. Even if you have recordings you love, I'd suggest buying this set - you will find real insight and pleasure throughout. Now it's a budget price it's an absolute steal, and I cannot recommend it too highly.