Artist: Petersen Quartett
Title: Mozart: String Quartets
Year Of Release: 1992
Label: Capriccio Digital
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue,scans)
Total Time: 01:11:17
Total Size: 355 Mb
(01-04) String Quartet № 21 D-Dur K. 575 «Prussian № 1» [23'42"]
(05-08) String Quartet № 22 B-Dur K. 589 «Prussian № 2» [22'36"]
(08-12) String Quartet № 23 F-Dur K. 590 «Prussian № 3» [24'59"]
Petersen Quartett

I highly recommend this 1992 recording of the three "Prussian" quartets by Wolfgang Mozart. The quartets were written in 1789-90 and dedicated to the King of Prussia. Because the king was a dedicated amateur cellist, the works contain solos for that instrument and display it. While I don't think the works are quite as inspired as Mozart's earler set of six quartets (the "Haydn" quartets), that is a tall order, and I have come to very much like them. They are sunny, inventive and sophisticated.
The Petersen Quartet, based in Berlin, has little name recognition here but they may be the world's outstanding quartet based on the recordings I have heard. Even in an age when many quartets boast amazing technical skills, the Petersens stand out. They play with incredible dynamic range (very soft, very loud depending on the music), are expressive and produce insightful interpretations.
The sonics are very good, although a tad bright. This is an outstanding recording by an ensemble that has enjoyed little US recognition. If you are a fan of Mozart's chamber music, you will want to hear it.