The Takács Quartet began their exclusive association with Decca in 1988 and the first release was the CD of Haydn String Quartets, op.76 nos.1-3; this was followed by the other three quartets that make up the set: op.76 nos. 4-6. This set of quartets was Haydn's last and was published in 1797 (his projected set of 6 quartets op.77 produced just two works and his op.103 remained a fragment). The second of these discs, containing nos.4-6 of op.76 was particularly warmly received by Gramophone in January 1990.
Hyperion’s Record of the Month for October marks the debut on the label by the Takács Quartet. After seventeen years recording for Decca, including multi-awarding-winning cycles of quartets by Beethoven and Bartók, this thrilling ensemble is now embarking on a new relationship with Hyperion; future projects will include works by Brahms, Janácek and Schumann. Schubert’s famous String Quartet, D810, subtitled ‘Death and the Maiden’, is one of the pillars of the repertoire. This new performance is electrifying, and was recorded following a global concert series, enthusiastically welcomed in the press: ‘The Takács’ reading of the second movement was characterized by unremitting pain and mystery.
A second new album this year from the much-fêted Takács Quartet presents three popular string quartets from Czechoslovakia. Janáček’s two quartets share with Smetana’s No 1 narrative undercurrents, and draw from our four players performances of gripping engagement.
The Végh Quartet was not only one of the finest string quartets from mid-twentieth century Europe, but its style was never subjected to radical change over the years from personnel changes because the four original players remained members for 38 of the 40 years of the ensemble's existence. Its style evolved in subtle ways, of course, but its essential character endured until 1978: the quartet was Central European in its sound, with a bit more prominence given to the cello in order to build tonal qualities from the bottom upward. The Végh Quartet was best known for its cycles – two each – of the Beethoven and Bartók quartets. It also performed and recorded many of the Haydn quartets, as well as numerous other staples of the repertory by Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, and Debussy. For a group that disbanded in 1980, its recordings are still quite popular, with major efforts available in varied reissues from Music & Arts, Archipel, Naïve, and Orfeo.
This SIX CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest and most popular composers of all time. With a running time of well over 7 ½ hours of music this box set provides unbeatable value for money. The comprehensive collection covers every aspect of this popular composers music best-loved arias from his operas and highlights from the sacred choral works rub shoulders with favorite moments from his symphonies, concertos, serenades, sonatas and chamber music. Includes recordings by some of the greatest exponents of this repertoire in the Decca catalogue, including artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Joshua Bell, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Georg Solti.