- String Quartet No. 19 in C major ("Dissonant"), K. 465
- String Quartet No. 20 in D major ("Hoffmeister"), K. 499
- String Quartet No. 23 in F major ("Prussian 3"), K. 590
Technology is not always a good thing. But in this recording of three Mozart quartets performed by the Budapest String Quartet, technology has worked a minor miracle. These three recordings were originally made in the 1930s, but the remastering on this release has yielded as clear as most any modern digital recording. Not only is there not a trace of hiss to be found, the monaural recording has somehow been made to sound remarkably full and round. This clear sound makes a historical recording of an ensemble as important as this one even more enjoyable. The Budapest Quartet's interpretation of Mozart was years ahead of its time. It is never heavy handed, over romanticized, or self-indulgent. Instead, it achieves what modern "performance practice" ensembles strive for today. The playing is very sensitive, graceful, extremely well balanced, and demonstrates the true depth and vitality found in these three celebrated quartets. This recording is recommended for collectors of quality, significant historical recordings for certain. But it also serves as a fine introduction to the Mozart string quartets in general.