Mozart: The Ten Great String Quartets [5 CD Set]

What a bargain this CD box set is: five hours of music comprising the six quartets dedicated to Papa Haydn, the Hoffmeister quartet and the three extant Prussian quartets (six were projected but the Grim Reaper intervened). These recordings, first issued in 1980 and 1986, represent the best of analogue and digital sound: warm, spacious but still intimate without being too reverberant or close; simply ideal. MusicWeb-International

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The Chilingirians have long been one of the world's premier quartets. Their playing exudes all the concentration, homogeneity, virtuosity and joy one would hope to encounter in a performance of these masterworks. I am particularly struck by the beauty of the cello playing in the later quartets, an emphasis Mozart deliberately engineered to please the gifted amateur cello player King Friedrich Wilhelm, to whom the six were originally meant to be dedicated. There is little point in ploughing conscientiously through every one of the ten quartets here, itemising the felicities of the Chilingirians' playing of them, so I will content myself with having made a few comments about several of them and urging any waverers to acquire this lovely set. Ralph Moore,

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