Notes and Editorial Reviews
As the Naxos Beethoven Quartet cycle heads toward completion, the Kodály Quartet turns in some of its finest playing to date. Particularly impressive in the E-flat Op. 127 quartet, the four players spin out the second movement variations with pliant lyricism, effecting gorgeously shaded dynamic contrasts in the Scherzando Vivace. The Kodálys may not plunge into the Op. 59's opening Allegro with the virtuosic confidence marking the Alban Berg Quartett's EMI studio version, or the better-recorded Alexander Quartet (Arte Nova); on the other hand, I like the dark charm they bring to the Minuet movement. The fugal finale is taken slightly under Beethoven's all-but-impossible metronome indication. While the music's dangerous edge is compromised, the results gain in linear clarity and uplifting momentum. An attractive coupling, all told, and worth much more than its bargain price.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com