MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Homage: the Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn
String Quartet in G, K.387 [29:48]
String Quartet in D minor, K.421 [31:56]
String Quartet in E flat, K.428 [28:50]
String Quartet in B flat, K.458 [27:09]
String Quartet in A, K.464 [32:40]
String Quartet in C, K.465 [33:33]
Alexander String Quartet (Zakarias Grafilo (violin), Frederick Lifsitz (violin), Paul Yarbrough (viola), Sandy Wilson (cello))
rec. American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York, 5-7 October, 14-16 November 2003, and 20-22 January 2004. DDD
FOGHORN CLASSICS CD-1985 [3 CDs: 61:49 + 56:05 + 66:16]

Experience Classicsonline

This triple-CD set was originally published in 2004, but has recently been reissued, presumably to coincide with the Alexander String Quartet's newest CD, a not altogether inspiring collection of not altogether inspired arrangements of music by George Gerswhin and Jerome Kern - see review.
The ASQ cannot go wrong with Mozart, though, and they do not. This is Mozart arguably at his finest in six works of sparkling imagination, style and technique, inspired by the six Quartets op.33 with which Haydn had recently opened new musical doors. Three years separate the first and last, an indication that Mozart spent a for him unusually long time working on them, a fact he confirmed in his dedication to Haydn when they were published in 1785.
In the last few years the ASQ have made many recordings for Foghorn Classics - to date there have been some 15 releases, including several double- or triple-discs. Their most important recordings have been the complete Quartets both of Beethoven, twice - with the current line-up for Foghorn on CD-2005 (review) and with three-quarters the same ensemble in the Nineties for Arte Nova Classics (review) - and of Shostakovich, on Foghorn again (CD-1988, CD-1991). Needless to say, each cycle met with considerable acclaim.
Individually, Mozart's 'Haydn' Quartets have been recorded countless times by every string quartet worth its salt. More importantly, there have also been numerous cycles of the six together, with or without additional works, and some of these are indisputably better deals than this Foghorn, which is dear by any standards - the equivalent, in fact, of three full-price singles. To cite merely top-rankers: the Alban Berg Quartet (7 CDs, EMI 5855812; alternatively, 4 CDs on Teldec 995495), the Emerson Quartet (3 CDs, DG 431797), the Melos Quartet (3 CDs, DG 415870), the Hagen Quartet (3 CDs, DG 471024 or 7 CDs, DG 000649302), the Quatuor Ysa˙e (3 CDs, Decca 473963), the Amadeus Quartet (6 CDs, DG 001408002), the Talich Quartet (7 CDs, La Dolce Vita 100), the Chilingirian Quartet (5 CDs, CRD 5005), the Franz Schubert Quartet (5 CDs, Nimbus NI1778) and the Guarneri Quartet newly reissued on RCA (6 CDs, 1918042). A few of these boxed sets are available at half the Foghorn price or less. On the other hand, the Takács Quartet on Hungaroton (HCD 12983-85) play only the 'Haydn' Quartets at a price that is more eye-watering still than Foghorn's, and for all its brilliance, the Quartetto Italiano boxed set (8 CDs, Philips 416419) will likely be out of most mortals' price range.
Financial differentials aside, all the readings above have their own many strong points, with perceived weaknesses often coming down to aesthetics. The ASQ - who last year celebrated their 30th anniversary - are hard to fault in any regard: their professionalism is immaculate, their ensemble experience huge and telling, their instrument mastery practically faultless. They exhibit a Classical elegance and textural clarity that Haydn would surely have approved of. For those not on a budget, this is a safe purchase that will repay the outlay with hours of repeated pleasure.
Sound quality is very good indeed, as it invariably is at the AAAL: intimate, yet spacious, with all four instruments beautifully defined. The accompanying booklet is excellent - notes by Eric Bromberger provide just the right amount of detail for everyman and expert alike, though in English only.
Rather wantonly, each CD ends with a literal foghorn. These are thankfully on separate tracks!
Collected reviews and contact at






Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Error processing SSI file