Opus 42 (D-minor) opens elegantly, the Takács members interacting with comradeship, then courtly dancing through the Minuet, soulfully addressing the slow movement, and lighting up the Presto Finale at a hair-raising tempo, breakneck speed, its main motif staying in the mind. Recorded in the Lone Tree Arts Center, Colorado, in April last year (Judith Sherman, producer; Mike Quam, engineer), the musicians – Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes, Richard O’Neill, András Fejér – could not be more clearly or brightly recorded, with not an ounce of acoustic fat to get in the way. They go on to deliver the pair of Opus 77 Quartets: the opening of the G-major jaunty if a little straitlaced, it can be wittier than this, then a rapturous Adagio with a profundity worthy of Beethoven, followed by a Minuet (more a Scherzo) that nips along infectiously with intense stresses and a Trio that’s even faster, and a Finale that’s an exhilarating tour de force. The F-major’s opening movement is shapely and sophisticated, the second-placed Minuet frolicsome, followed by a song-without-words Andante, and a Finale that starts with a gruff chord (listen!) before dashing along. The two movements left to us of Opus 103 (D-minor) are an amiable Andante and a muscular Minuet. Plenty to relish here, music and performance, on Hyperion CDA68364.

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68364