Judging by output in any one given year, Schubert has to be the greatest composer ever to have put the pen to the paper–by some margin. The proof in the pudding is the String Quintet, an hour of inspired, painfully beautiful chamber music. The slightly earlier string quartets are no mean feat either. “Death and the Maiden” and the Quartettsatz will make you fall in love with the genre if you are not already. The economic Lindsays set – as far as sets are concerned – is probably the finest available: emotional and vivacious, leading with a rendition of the quintet that has few, if any, rivals. Another famous quartet (on DG) has a similar set out, but the uninspired (if technically perfect) playing only shows why The Lindsays are the ones to go with.
P.S. There are single discs with cleaner music making that is equally spirited. If you are not looking for getting all the late quartets at once, the Quatour Mosaiques
' disc is worth your attention!