Your Favorite Bartók String Quartet Cycle

Started by SurprisedByBeauty, January 17, 2023, 09:22:39 AM

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Emerson Quartet (DG)

Hagen Quartet (DG/Newton)
0 (0%)
Heath Quartet (Harmonia Mundi)
0 (0%)
Hungarian String Quartet (DG)
1 (10%)
Juilliard Quartet II (Sony, 63)
2 (20%)
Keller Quartet (Erato/Warner)
0 (0%)
The Lindsays (ASV/Eloquence)
0 (0%)
Takacs I (Hungaroton)
0 (0%)
Takacs I (Decca)
2 (20%)
Tokyo I (DG/Eloquence)
1 (10%)
Vegh II (naive)
0 (0%)
4 (40%)

Total Members Voted: 9


For help with this, see the A Survey of Bartók String Quartet Cycles

I won't pretend that every cycle is competitive and not list every single one in the above options. But if I've missed yours, I'd like to know below!


And the first vote was already "Other".  ;D


I don't have that many recordings of the cycle, but the one I think best of is the Novak Quartet. So that's why I voted Other.
2nd and 3rd place would doubtless be Jerusalem and Takacs II.
Absolute last place would be the Emerson cycle. I shudder at the dreadfulness of that one. (It's the only Emerson recording I actively dislike.)

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Probably the Diotima right now, with Takacs II, Tokyo I, or Ragazze as possible alternates.
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Quote from: Daverz on January 17, 2023, 09:41:23 AMJuilliard II was recorded in 1963.

Perfectly true. It's correct in the text, too, but I might have left the Beethoven dates in the text. Fixed now. (If not above in this poll.)

The date for Juilliard I was also wrong in the survey.

Thanks for pointing it out!


"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure


I have Hungarian, Juilliard, Tokyo and Hagen. It would be too strenuous for me to compare all of them in all pieces. When I compared a single quartet I usually liked all of them. The Tokyo was my first one, still in the first CD issue (I had listened to a borrowed copy of the Emerson some time before) and after I got others I found it a bit "cool" but re-listening this seemed a valid approach with some virtues. The Hungarian clearly is the most Hungarian, IIRC this is a special bonus for the first two works I am as fond of as of the rest.
The Hagen is the most "modern" with the eeriest sounds.
The Juilliard might be the best combination of all aspects.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal