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Best Mozart string quartets complete set

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just wondering if I could get comments on the best Mozart string quartet complete CD set out there.

 

I own the Berg Quartet's version but I find it lacks gravitas. For instance the opening of the Dissonance is entirely too light and lively.

 

Dennis

post #2 of 16

My favorite set:

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post
 

My favorite set:

Ah, Quartetto Italiano. And I see, looking this up at Amazon, that the recordings are analog, before the digital era. I generally prefer the sound of ADD discs. Cool. Thanks. A used set is available on Amazon at $49.95.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

I just received the Chilingirian Quartet's recording of Mozart, "The Ten Great String Quartets." A waste of money--the recording quality is terrible. No dynamics, no presence, no impact. The playing is hard to judge seeing as the sound has no impact, but it seems pretty lackadaisical.

post #5 of 16

I noticed on the Presto Classical site that the Chilingirian Quartet extracts seemed to need an upwards volume adjustment to bring them into line. Still for gravitas and reasonably recent (early 1990s?) recording quality the Emerson Quartet looks a good bet for the Dissonance :
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/DG/4775751#listen

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

I own the Emerson doing Dissonance and it's great.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by raddle View Post
 

I own the Emerson doing Dissonance and it's great.

Thanks for the reply, Dennis. Oh well, I'll give myself 80% for the accuracy of the recommendation and 0% for its usefulness  :rolleyes:We've all got to start somewhere, I guess. 

There's not really such a great choice for currently available boxed sets of the Mozart Quartets is there? From the 1970s Amadeus, Quartetto Italiano and Suske (Quartets 8-23) are still available. And then there's the Hagen, Talich and Chilingirian. Additionally there are sets from releases that have been discontinued then reappeared under other labels that are not so widely available eg:
http://www.wyastone.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=Mozart+String+Quartets
American and Franz Schubert Quartett of Vienna there.

Hopefully you'll let us know if you make any progress. Who knows, maybe the Chilingirian will grow on you. 

post #8 of 16

I like Quatuor Mosaiques best, but the price is high

 


Edited by Quinto - 3/24/14 at 8:37am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinto View Post
 

I like Quatuor Mosaiques best, but the price is high

what other works by that group do you like?  

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccabbage View Post
 

what other works by that group do you like?  


Haydn!

 

Beethoven not so much..

post #11 of 16

I'll second the recommendation for  Quatuor Mosaïques.  For me, nobody else is even close; but then I'm a period instruments guy all the way.  And they are indeed great in the Haydn quartets and Beethoven's Op. 18 too.  


Edited by Andolink - 3/24/14 at 8:36am
post #12 of 16
post #13 of 16
For the early quartets, I don't think you'll do better than the Quartetto Italiano (be sure to get later, remastered edition). Their serious approach and broad tempos show these works to maximum effect. In the "mature" quartets I have more doubts about the QI - maybe it's the recording, but their dynamic range seems rather limited, and they have rustic charm rather than the sophistication the later quartets require. I do love their Hoffmeister though.

OP mentioned the Berg Quartet, presumably their Telarc set? I have the later EMI set, in which the opening of the Dissonance is broader than the earlier version. But yes, overall I find their sound lacking body and their tempos glib. I think their best is the last four of the "Haydn" cycle.

Ironically, there are a lot more recordings of the later quartets but it seems more difficult to find really satisfying recordings.
post #14 of 16

My vote is for the Talich Quartet, if we are talking complete sets. Leaner and less upholstered than the Italians, with distinctly more energy in the earlier quartets. Also to my ears a clearer and more detailed sound, although the 80s sound signature may not be to all tastes.

 

If its just the later quartets then Quatuor Mosaïques hits all the right spots for me - a great set.


Edited by zumaro - 4/28/14 at 2:07am
post #15 of 16
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