S0142. BUDAPEST STRING QUARTET: Quartet #7 in F, Op.59, #1; Quartet #13 in B-flat, Op.130; Grosse Fuge, Op.133 (all Beethoven). (England) Biddulph LAB 159. Transfers by Rick Torres. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 744718015924
"...it was those early studio recordings that defined the sound and style of the Beethoven quartets for many listeners a half-century ago: relatively airless, wiry and incomparably intense. The tension could only have been heightened by the limitation in these 78-rpm recordings to four-and-a-half-minute ‘takes’.
- James R. Oestreich, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 Nov., 1997
“The Budapest String Quartet was formed in 1917 by four friends, all members of opera orchestras that had ceased playing owing to World War I. The members were all protégés of Jeno Hubay (violin), a Hungarian pupil of Joseph Joachim and David Popper (cello), a Bohemian. Hubay and Popper had helped to make Budapest a major centre for musical education, attracting famous students such as Josef Szigeti. Hubay and Popper had supported Sándor Végh and Feri Roth in the formation of quartets, and were themselves part of an earlier Budapest Quartet, the new quartet being named partly in honour of that. The début recital of the new Budapest String Quartet took place in December 1917 in Kolozsvár, then in Hungary.
No previous quartet had attempted to live entirely on the proceeds from its concerts. It was a brave decision for the time. Much later, in July 1930, the current members added another rule to resolve tied votes. One player, chosen by lot, would have a deciding vote. His initials would be written on the music and he would always have the extra vote for that piece. If he were replaced, his successor would take on his voting rights.
The Budapest String Quartet had a huge influence on chamber music in the United States and internationally. When they began in the late 1930's it was hard to get big audiences. The concerts in Washington and New York, the radio broadcasts and the many records gradually raised audience numbers, made them famous and wealthy and set a high standard which was influential on many later players.”
- Ned Ludd