S0663. LASALLE QUARTET: Haydn, Brahms & Zemlinsky. (Germany) Hänssler 94.228, Broadcast Performances, 1965-77. - 4010276027720
“The LaSalle Quartet was active from 1946 to 1988, however its influence goes far beyond that. Violinist Walter Levine is still a vital, much sought out authority for string players. The quartet has remained one of the primary references in regard to the discussion of important interpretive and practical performance issues.
The men of the LaSalle were one of the most influential post war strings quartets to attain such international prestige and renowned for their distinctive tonal character and interpretive approaches. With great determination and also great conviction, the LaSalle Quartet was, from their founding, devoted to the repertoire of the late 19th and 20th century.
Among these, the works of Schönberg, Berg and Webern were a significant part, but so were the quartets of Schönberg's teacher, Alexander Zemlinsky.
This CD presents studio recordings from 1965, 1968 and 1977, and draws together Zemlinsky with Haydn and Brahms – a bold program for an ensemble specializing in modern to include some ‘early music ‘. But the works ordered here are not presented merely because they are well-known pieces; rather, they are picked up anew and reexamined from a new perspective and with a fresh approach to listening and interpretation. One approaches these quartets thinking critically and listening attentively.”
“The LaSalle Quartet, founded by first violinist Walter Levin, was a string quartet active from 1946 to 1987. The LaSalle's name is attributed to an apartment on LaSalle Street in Manhattan, where some of its members lived during the quartet's inception. The quartet played on a donated set of Amati instruments.
The LaSalle Quartet was best known for its espousal of the Second Viennese School of Schönberg, Berg and Webern, and of the European modernists who derived from that tradition, though they also performed standard classical and romantic literature. The Quartet gave the premiere of Witold Lutoslawski's String Quartet in Stockholm in 1965. György Ligeti dedicated his Second String Quartet to the group, and they premiered it in Baden-Baden on 14 December, 1969. The quartet has been credited with the ‘Zemlinsky Renaissance’, as Zemlinsky remained largely unknown until they performed his works. The quartet won the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis for their recording of his four string quartets.”
- Hans Lick