...(Mozart and Smetana in the same 1965 concert) and one studio recording in 1963 (Beethoven). All are extremely well played. The Beethoven sounds livelier than the SQ's Supraphon version- also rich and meticulous. This Mozart is valuable since only their
Quartets #s 14-19 are still available. (I recall dimly their #s 20-23 on lp , but they were not cd'd). This BBC Hoffmeister
is excellent- enviable ensemble with an especially moving slow movement. Unfortunately the Emerson Quartet has not recorded
it, but perhaps will with their new members (plus more Haydn please).
The Smetana " From My Life" with its harrowing sonic breakdown in the Finale and profound Largo is overwhelmingly graphic and intense, tracing and adumbrating the onset of Smetana's deafness. In fact the hints of it in happier times/earlier movements are equally dark in retrospect (analogous to the ambivalence in Mozart's 27th concerto)) if not as overtly shocking as deafness and tinnitus themselves.
This version rivals the reading by the Janacek String Quartet/DG
Other peers: Mozart #20- Italiano/Philips; Amadeus/DG; Barylli/Westminster; Talich/Calliope
Beethoven 18/1- Italiano/Philips; Vegh/Valois; Talich/Calliope; Emerson/DG; Smetana/Supraphon; Amadeus/DG