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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Schubert’s Third Quartet was written in 1812–13. It is a cheerful work, with a dominating motif in the first movement to remind us of Haydn’s Fifths Quartet. No. 7 in D major, written a year earlier, has a disarming opening movement, the effect astonishingly mature, and the Andante is comparably serene. The Kodály Quartet play this work marvelously and make it the highlight of the disc. No. 9 in G minor opens very positively, its argument both dramatic and serious, but the Andantino (though still Haydnesque) has a Schubertian theme. The Minuet then reminds us dramatically of the comparable movement in Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, and the engaging finale echoes and quickens that same idea. Once again the playing is splendid, and the recording most naturally balanced throughout.

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