S0653. LONDON STRING QUARTET: Toch, Bridge, Brahms & Smetana. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-269, recorded 1916-48. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“The London String Quartet was one of the most important international groups of its time. Numerous premieres, Beethoven cycles, widespread concertising, and eminent recordings marked out its trajectory. The 'live' Library of Congress recordings demonstrate its most vital, sensitive and convincing musicianship in ways that even its studio discs occasionally fail to show. They provide irrefutable evidence that the quartet was one of the very greatest of its time.
For young ears, the rise of the London String Quartet (with the incomparable James Levey as leader, and the enduring partnership of Thomas Petre, H. Waldo Warner and C. Warwick Evans participating) dimmed the Flonzaley star even as it was waning. A more vibrant enthusiasm, a stronger sense of tonal colours, a refinement that was not raffiné, gave them pre-eminence as long as this personnel endured.”
- Irving Kolodin, THE MUSICAL LIFE, P.63
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent’s natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011