In the opus 18s, the Baryllis sound youthful and lively. It has been a longstanding favorite set. They do not soften the anger and sadness of opus 18/4, and they capture the lyrical beauty of 18/5. The nearly match the best 18/6 that I know, that of the Janacek Quartet-the same is true for opus 59/2. In the remaining twelve quartets they are best in #s 7-10, especially the opus 59s, of which 59/3 fares best. The final five don't quite match a few others intellectually and spiritually: the Emerson, Vegh, Talich, Italiano, Tokyo and Amadeus Quartets. So this set is mixed but rewarding.
Walter Barylli became concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic in his early twenties and one can hear why he was appointed. The other three members were all first chairs in the VPO and had long experience playing together. They were
staples of the 1950s Westminster catalogue, and Barylli was excellent also in Mozart, Brahms , and Schumann chamber music.
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