Editors’ Notes Founded in 1976—with only one change of personel when Paul Watkins replaced cellist David Finckel in 2012—the Emersons have occupied the top rank of quartets for four decades. Their bright, glossy, sometimes chrome-plated sound is huge and very New World, making them perfect for modern quartets like the Bartók and Shostakovich. But their way with the classics—the complete Beethovens, for example—is convincing and very "of our time." Since Watkins joined, they have a renewed sense of joy and excitement that makes for some thrilling music-making.

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