The Hungarian Quartet, formed in 1935, embodied the very best of the Central European tradition of string-playing, and this cycle, recorded in Paris in the early 1950s, represents an essential staging post in the quest for Beethoven. “These performances will give endless pleasure,” wrote Gramophone, “… the ensemble attack and technical proficiency of this quartet are beyond praise … and so is their grasp of the music.” These recordings have now been remastered from the original tapes in 24Bit-96kHz digital sound.
Excerpt of a review from an earlier CD release of this cycle:
The Hungarian String Quartet’s 1953 Beethoven cycle stands the test of time very well, even after a half century ofRead more excellent competition and sonic advances, to say nothing of the group’s own 1960s stereo remake.
The distant and slightly opaque ambience contrasts to the stereo version’s closer, more vibrant and detailed pickup. These sonic characteristics reinforce my general impressions of 1953’s smoother, more uniform ensemble blend versus the later one’s more individual, contradictory approach to phrasing and vibrato and tonal astringency. As a result, first violinist Zoltan Szekely’s intense vibrato makes more of a stinging impact in stereo. For the most part 1953’s tempos are faster, apparently in order to honor the composer’s often optimistic metronome markings, yet they never sound pushed or stressful.
Recommend!April 19, 2017By n. evans (Farmington, NM)See All My Reviews"Hungarian Quartet - Complete String Quartets made in the 1950's but sound is great. If you don't have a set of the complete Beethoven quartets already this is a good place to start."Report Abuse