This venerable recording by the Italian Quartet from 1965 was, for many years, the standard reference copy of both works either individually or as a coupling. One of the considerable virtues of this group of players was that they could always be relied upon to play in tune and to play with musicianship. The competition was not so strong as it is today as many of the alternative groups simply could not deliver accuracy in tuning (or even worse, the notes). This was rarely commented upon in review magazines at the time, a source of complete bemusement for me, but as one who was expected to play in tune I found listening to string chamber music almost beyond bearing for much of the time - except for this group.
Founded 70 years ago by Paolo Borciani, Elisa Pegreffi, Lionello Forzanti and Franco Rossi, Quartetto Italiano is one of the finest string quartets of the 20th century. The group recorded almost exclusively for Philips Classics, leaving a legacy admired for its insight and technical brilliance. This 37CD Box Set celebrates the artistic achievements of the Quartet by presenting their complete recordings on Decca, Philips and DG.