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Penguin Guide, January 2009

BEETHOVEN: String Quartets Op. 59, No. 1, ‘Rasumovsky’ and Op. 95, ‘Serioso’ 8.554181
BEETHOVEN: String Quartets Op. 59, No. 2, ‘Rasumovsky’ and Op. 74, ‘Harp’ 8.550562
BEETHOVEN: String Quartets Op. 59, No. 3, ‘Rasumovsky’ and Op. 127 8.550563
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet, Op. 130 / Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 8.554593
BEETHOVEN: String Quartets, Opp. 135 and 131 8.554594
BEETHOVEN: String Quartets Op. 132 and H. 34 8.554592

The Kodály have the benefit of very good recorded sound, with a particularly good balance, and the actual playing is very fine, with judiciously chosen tempi and expertly moulded phrasing. Both the Rasumovsky Quartets here are very good indeed: thoughtful, decently paced and thoroughly musical accounts, which will give satisfaction. No one getting any of these discs is likely to be disappointed…

Robin Stowell
The Strad, February 2001

" From the somewhat cautious yet expansive initial bars of the Adagio grows a performance of passion and dramatic momentum. The unity of purpose and ensemble in the opening movement is especially striking, as is the rich warmth given to the second subject material. The Presto second movement is played with skill and precision and the contrasting moods of the ensuing Andante are explored with the utmost conviction. These performers adopt a more light-hearted carefree approach than many to the eloquent Alla danza tedesca, but they capture the passionate intensity of the tender, heartfelt Cavatina with spacious, unhurried playing of deep expressive penetration and perform the jolly substitute finale with strikingly rhythmic vitality and clear articulation.

Their powerful rugged version of the monumental, often enigmatic Grosse Fuge is searching and perceptive. Their ensemble is consistently polished notably in the various dramatic recitatives and bold unison passages, and their refreshingly direct spontaneous yet highly concentrated interpretation builds to an expansive and triumphant climax. Although this would not represent my first-choice recording of opp. 130 and 133 - that accolade is reserved for The Lindsays on ASV - these performances are highly commendable. The sound quality is more than adequate and the Naxos package otters excellent value for money."

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