The greatest quartets ever written by the greatest quartet that ever played. I have been listening to these works for fifty years, and heard the Budapest Quartet play them live when I was a lot younger. I have many recordings them, including the early fifties mono sets (Jac Gorodetzky second violin) and the early sixties stereo sets (Alexander Schneider second violin), of all the quartets on Columbia LP alas, neither transferred complete to CD although parts of each have been, and several recordings by other quartets, older, the Busch Quartet, also essential, and newer, of which there are many fine ones, the Quartetto Italiano and the Talich in particular. But nothing, nothing compares with these. They are as I remember them from so many years ago. There are no words to express how beautiful, how intense, these performances are: the first movement of op. 131, the Heiliger Dankgesang of op. 132 (Edgar Ortenberg second violin), the Cavatina of op. 130, and a Grosse Fuge, op. 133, with energy beyond all others. As one of the other reviewers recommends, get the Dover score, and then spend the rest of your life listening. How is the sound? Just fine except for occasional distortion in some louder passages, but that is no matter. These are without doubt among the greatest recordings ever made. Let us hope that more Library of Congress recordings are made available and that some day all the Columbia recordings are reissued, including the earlier 78's, some of which have made it to CD.