Reviews: Classical Music Albums

Beethoven: String Quartets, Op. 18

Jerusalem Quartet

(Harmonia Mundi)

After he finished his first set of string quartets, at 30, Beethoven felt he had finally mastered the genre. These excellent Israeli players offer richly characterized, stirring performances of these six pieces, their burnished sound notable in sections like the opening of No. 3 in D. They render No. 1 in F with a gracious charm and No. 4 in C minor with an arresting tension. VIVIEN SCHWEITZER

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