S0532. PAGANINI QUARTET: The Great String Quartets (Beethoven). (France) 5-United Archives NUA 11, recorded 1947-53. Specially priced. - 5494329160111
“For the first time, this set gathers the Beethoven recordings released by the Paganini Quartet between 1947 and 1953.
This studio archive is unique, a veritable missing-link between the Busch, Calvet, Léner, Budapest Quartets and the post-war American ensemble, the Juilliard Quartet, in the prodigious history of the interpretation of this unmatched monument to chamber music.
Why ‘Paganini’? Because in 1946, Emil Herrmann, the well-known New York violin maker, told the cellist Robert Maas that he had in his possession a Stradivari quartet set, once having belonged to Paganini. After 25 years of research, the four instruments were finally re-united having been dispersed for over a century. Fascinated by this discovery, a wealthy music lover, Mrs William Andrews Clark, immediately acquired the four instruments and the quartet naturally adopted the name of its prestigious parentage. Henri Temianka, lead violin, was allocated a 1727 violin, The ‘Cozio Count of Salabue’ from the nobleman from whom Paganini had obtained it in 1816 and it had become one of his concert instruments. The second violin received a 1680 instrument, the ‘Desaint’, built in the typical manner of the Stradivari early years, influenced by Amati. The viola, the ‘Mendelssohn’, dated 1731, had prompted Paganini to commission Hector Berlioz’s HAROLD IN ITALY. The cello, the ‘Ladenburg’, was made by Stradivari in 1736 when he was 93 years old and just before his death.”
- Loyal Bluto