A few personnel changes over the decades have done nothing to diminish the quality and stature of the ensemble, currently based at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
That point was driven home Sunday evening in an appearance for the Shriver Hall Concert Series.
At the start of the program, the players dug into the Debussy quartet with a dark sound and, in the score's more animated movements, a muscular articulation that drew out the music's inner strength.
Janacek's brilliant Quartet No. 1, nicknamed the "Kreutzer Sonata" after Tolstoy's story of love and jealousy, inspired a taut, superbly articulated account from the Takacs group.
The occasion also provided first violinist Edward Dusinberre an opportunity to demonstrate his …
considerable gift for musical stand-up -- OK, he sat down while he introduced Janacek's challenging work, but the effect was the same. The fiddler's delivery had a seasoned entertainer's charm and timing.
Beethoven's Op. 131 could not help but seem even more adventurous and forward-thinking after the Debussy and Janacek pieces. The players delivered the seven-movement score in a cohesive, thoroughly absorbing sweep, finding rich character and myriad nuances of tone and dynamics at every turn.
PHOTO BY ELLEN APPEL