Although I still consider the six opus 64 quartets Haydn's penultimate set after opus 76 (even considering the lofty opus 77 pair), the three opus 74 quartets will reward. The Amadeus Quartet paired #s 1 and 3 on lp and I still prefer them slightly to #2. All three are still available in cd and are still superb. The Lindsays observe more repeats, however, and play
with characteristic verve and analytic depth. They are also probably more difficult to locate.
I would rank the three in 1/3/2 order. #1 begins with a another variant of the Jupiter symphony
finale and its first movement is a masterpiece, my favorite movement of the twelve in the set. It is fully worthy of 76hood. The other three movements are nearly as good. 74/3 "the Rider" or "horseman" begins with a galloping gait, another version of which appears in the Finale.
There is depth and beauty in both slow movements, upon which the Lindsays seize. #2 is slightly
less approachable immediately but also excellent. If I knew only the opus 76, I would try next opus
64, 33, 74, 77, 71, 20, 54, 50, and 55-but in any order it is a no-lose situation.