New Music String Quartet - The Complete Columbia A
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Producer: David Oppenheim Musicians: Barab, Seymour; Crawford, Joseph; James, Joseph; Johannesen, Grant; Kirkpatrick, Ralph; Lawrence, Lucille; New Music String Quartet; Oppenheim, David; Schneider, Alexander; Smith, William C.; Surinach, Carlos; Thomson, Virgil; Tourel, Jennie; Turner, Clyde S. Composers: Boccherini, Luigi; Cage, John; Harrison, Lou; Max Jacob; McPhee, Colin; Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix; Moore, Douglas; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus; Piston, Walter; Riegger, Wallingford; Rosen, Jerome; Schumann, Robert; Sessions, Roger; Shulman, Alan; Stein, Gertrude; Thomson, Virgil; Usmanbas, Ilhan; Various; Wolf, Hugo
It existed for only eight years, from 1948 to 1956, but in that short span the New Music String Quartet "established standards of quartet playing which have only rarely been equaled since and which have never been surpassed" (Montreal Gazette, 1969). Beginning in October 1950, the NMSQ made a celebrated series of recordings in Columbia's 30th Street Studio, but in spite of the impressive critical acclaim, they did not stay long in the LP catalogue. Now, Sony Classical is collecting them all in a 10-CD set, making most of them available for the first time on the silver disc. The New Music String Quartet's leader was violinist Broadus Erle, who had studied with an assistant to the legendary Leopold Auer and become a champion of contemporary music. His co-founders were the German-émigré violist Walter Trampler, one of the most distinguished chamber players of the last century, and cellist Claus Adam, who performed with the NMSQ until 1955 when he joined the Juilliard String Quartet and was replaced by another outstanding player, David Soyer. And the quartet found it's ideal second violin in Matthew Raimondi, another dedicated advocate of contemporary American music. The group's Columbia discography ranged from Boccherini, Mozart and Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Hugo Wolf to the foremost modern American composers. In Sony Classical's new collection, the earliest recordings date from 1950-51 and feature works by Virgil Thomson, Lou Harrison, Douglas Moore, Wallingford Rieger, Walter Piston and John Cage.