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Beethoven's String Quartets

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As Todd mentioned, Vegh's stereo set is incredible. This is the set that a member on the old forum described as "the set you want to take home, get married and have grandchildren with." I've heard others say that "never has Beethoven's quartet music been treated with so much love." I really can't say enough about this set, except - buy it! The sound is totally fine, it isn't modern, but it's far from historical.  :)

I have other sets and individual discs, but I find them to be in another league.

Leaning on much more experienced minds - since I didn't listen to a consistent range of interpretations -, if I had to recommend a recording , I'd go for our great Quartetto Italiano.



Actually, I just found something. A while ago, I asked for recommendations here and on rmcr for the Beethoven Quartets.

These are the results I came up with (coming from both sites and a number of guidebooks):

Vegh got 14 votes

Talich got 12

Takacs, Busch, Julliard all got 7

Italiano got 5

Smetana and Emerson got 4

Amadeus got 2

I sampled Talich and found them bland, Vegh didn't impress me at first, but quickly clicked for me. I also have the Italiano, they have a more beautiful sound that is nice, but just not my first choice. The Julliard has a very modern approach that I haven't warmed to yet. Same could be said of Emerson. Haven't heard the others yet, except for Busch, where I haven't made up my mind yet.  :)


not edward:
Nobody voted for Budapest on rmcr? (They're alongside my Juilliards as favourites: I need to get the Veghs next.)


The Juilliard's from the 60's. Very intense performance and good sound quality.

It's worth buying a whole set of SQ's, even the first ones have many qualities. Also it comes cheaper than buying various different quartets.


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