Beethoven: The Middle String Quartets
This is perfection. The Tokyo quartet plays with very much sense of the architecture of the music. If you like your Beethoven played with restraint, refinement, sense of the interior drama of the music, this is it. The Tokyo quartet is never over-dramatizing, but let the music speak for itself. Compared to the Takacs quartet, I think the Tokyos are generally more elegant and balanced on the middle quartets, their tempos generally not slower, and they never exaggerate. The Takacs is more exciting though. If you plan to buy the opus 18 quartets, go for the Takacs quartet - more concentration and excitement. For the late quartets, nothing compares to the religious readings of the Tokyo quartet.