Budapest String Quartet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Budapest String Quartet
The Budapest String Quartet
The Budapest String Quartet, March 1938. L-to-R: Josef Roisman, Boris Kroyt, Alexander Schneider, Mischa Schneider
Background information
Years active 1917 (1917)–1967 (1967)

The Budapest String Quartet was a string quartet in existence from 1917 to 1967. It originally consisted of three Hungarians and a Dutchman; at the end, the quartet consisted of four Russians. A number of recordings were made for HMV/Victor through 1938; from 1940 through 1967 it recorded for Columbia Records. Additionally, several of the Quartet's live performances were recorded, at the Library of Congress and other venues.

Members[edit]

Budapest String Quartet at Fredric R. Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, 1961

1st Violin:

2nd Violin:

Viola:

Cello:

History of the quartet[edit]

Foundation[edit]

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 Jenő 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 debut recital of the new Budapest String Quartet (in Hungarian: Budapesti Vónosnégyes), took place in December 1917 in Kolozsvár, then in Hungary, now called Cluj-Napoca, in present-day Romania.[1]

The quartet was established with quite forward-looking rules:

  1. All disputes, musical or business, were to be resolved by a vote. In case of a tie—no change.
  2. Players were not allowed to take engagements outside the quartet.
  3. Players were paid equally—no preference was given for the leader (first violin).
  4. No wives or girlfriends were permitted at rehearsals or discussions.[1]

No previous quartet had attempted to live entirely on the proceeds from its concerts. It was a brave decision for the time.[1] 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 was replaced, his successor would take on his voting rights.[2]

The original members were Emil Hauser, aged 24, from Budapest; Alfred Indig, aged 25, from Hungary; István Ipolyi, aged 31, from Újvidék in Hungary; and Harry Son from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.[1]

In 1920 Indig resigned in the hope of advancement; he was replaced by Imre Pogany. Pogany came from Budapest and had studied under Hubay and Kodály. After resigning, Indig became a soloist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. In 1931 he became Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. When the Nazis came to power, Indig fled to Paris where he led a quartet for a while. Indig lived in Amsterdam until 1951, and thereafter returned to Paris. His date and place of death remain unknown.[1][3]

Move to Berlin[edit]

In 1921 or 1922, owing to unrest in Budapest, the quartet moved to Berlin. There they developed a large repertoire. The quartet received mixed reviews, however. In 1925 they played in London and signed a recording contract with His Master’s Voice, making recordings at Abbey Road Studios.[4]

In May 1927, without telling the others, Pogany traveled to Cincinnati to see his friend Fritz Reiner about a job in the symphony orchestra there. He was offered Principal Second Violin but refused it. The other members of the quartet were furious because if he had left, they would have found it very difficult to find and rehearse a replacement player in time for the new season. In the ensuing row Pogany resigned.[5] He emigrated to America and joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and also taught at the local Conservatory of Music. In 1929 he joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini as principal second violin. He remained there until his retirement in 1958.[3]

Josef Roisman – second violin[edit]

The man recommended to replace Pogany was Josef Roisman (Joe). Roisman was born on 25 July 1900 in Odessa. He started on the violin at the age of six with Pyotr Stolyarsky, who was also the first teacher of David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein. After the tragic early death of Josef’s father, a wealthy Odessa woman made it possible for Josef, his sister and mother to relocate to Berlin so that Josef could study with Alexander Fiedemann. There Josef befriended Boris Kroyt, another Odessan studying with Fiedemann. At the outbreak of World War I the family returned to Odessa where Josef continued his studies with Naoam Blinder, another Odessa player who had just returned from England.[6]

After the Russian Revolution, Roisman was co-opted to play at farms and factories. He managed to escape in 1923 while working near Poland. He traveled to Prague, then to Berlin. In Berlin, Roisman met up with Kroyt, who found work for him in a film orchestra. It was during this time that the quartet offer came. Roisman was comfortable and secure in the orchestra but his first love was chamber music. In the end his wife Polo persuaded him to take the financial risk and sacrifice involved.[6]

Immediately he began to regret it. Hauser and Son were constantly in dispute and soliciting his vote. Moreover, Roisman had his own issues—in particular Hauser and Ipolyi, who could not play Spiccato (German Springbogen), so that the quartet was forced not to use it. The rest of the quartet had had to become expert in using another technique (German Spitzen) to get around Hauser and Ipolyi's inability to play spiccato. Roisman found it hard work to catch up. He had to spend many hours practicing and he was unhappy with the result. In Germany, the quartet was called das Spitzenquartett (not a compliment) because it substituted Spitzen for Springbogen.[7]

Finally in 1930/31 Son could stand the rows no longer and resigned.[7] He emigrated to Palestine and played in concerts there and abroad. Shortly before World War II he made the unfortunate decision to return to Rotterdam. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands, he and his wife Marianne were arrested in Amsterdam, and died in 1942 in Auschwitz-Monowitz concentration camp.[3][8]

Mischa Schneider – cellist[edit]

The new cellist was originally named Mojzesz Sznejder, later rendered in German as 'Mischa Schneider'. Born in 1904 in Vilna, Russia (now Vilnius, Lithuania), Schneider had a difficult upbringing. The family had little money and his father was a tyrant. Mischa often found himself defending his younger brother Sasha against their father. In 1920, at the age of 16, Mischa left home to study in Leipzig under Julius Klengel, his teacher’s teacher. Fellow students included Emanuel Feuermann, Gregor Piatigorsky and Benar Heifetz. After graduating he moved to Frankfurt, where he taught at the Hoch Conservatory. He found that he suffered from stage fright when playing solo, a problem that did not exist when playing in a quartet. He joined the Prisca Quartet but resigned after a while due to a personality clash with two of the other members. The Prisca had often played in Cologne and there he got to know the Reifenbergs, whose daughter Eva had married Emanuel Feuermann. It was Frau Reifenberg who introduced Schneider to the Budapest Quartet.[9]

American debut[edit]

In January and February 1931, the quartet made its first United States tour. Reviews were fairly good but financially the tour was unrewarding. Arguments about Spitzen and other matters continued and relations became difficult. Then in 1932, Hauser wanted to play some concerts with Alice Ehlers. The quartet refused to allow this deviation from the rules; there was an argument and Hauser resigned.[10] He emigrated to Jerusalem, formed a quartet and founded the Palestine Music Conservatory. Hauser helped violinist Bronisław Huberman rescue many Jews from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany and was instrumental in founding the Palestine Symphony Orchestra. In 1940 he moved to the U.S., teaching first at Bard College in upper New York State, and later at the Juilliard School of Music. Hauser returned to Israel in 1960 where he died in 1978 at the age of 84.[3]

Roisman becomes the leader and Alexander Schneider the second violinist[edit]

Having lost Hauser, the quartet needed a new leader. Introducing an unknown person as leader is a risky step for a quartet. Owing to the established relationships and 'comfort level', a transition from second violin to first is safer. For this reason, Roisman was persuaded to make the switch from second to first.[11]

The new second was Mischa Schneider’s younger brother Alexander (Sasha), born Abram Sznejder. At 13, Abram almost died of tetanus after cutting his knee in an accident. The tetanus distorted his joints and recovery was long and painful. Sasha left Vilna in 1924 and joined his brother in Frankfurt, securing a scholarship to study violin with Adolf Rebner, the principal violin tutor at the Hoch Conservatory. In 1927, Alexander became leader (concertmaster) of an orchestra in Saarbrücken. In 1929 he was appointed leader of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra in Hamburg. In 1932, he lost his job as a result of the ongoing Nazi campaign against Jews. It was time to leave Germany and the Budapest vacancy happened at just the right moment.[12]

After Sasha's arrival, the Quartet's level of performance improved immediately and the group began attracting larger audiences. Successful tours of the U.S., Dutch East Indies, Australia and New Zealand ensued, and in exchange for relocating to Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation guaranteed the quartet six months of work a year. Still, personal relations within the Quartet were poor. Sasha was often outvoted; he hated this but Ipolyi was usually able to pacify him. Ipolyi himself had mental problems. Mischa had divorced his wife and remarried. The group was still not profitable.[13]

By 1934, Jews had been expelled from all German orchestras but the Quartet, as 'Hungarian' visitors, had been spared. However, one night they received threats from a Nazi group. Overnight, they switched headquarters from Berlin to Paris, never to return to Germany. They toured Europe and the U.S. but always lived in inexpensive hotels and ate cheaply.[14]

The last founding member leaves[edit]

Ipolyi became an isolated member of the quartet, the only Hungarian among three Russians. He was also the only Spitzen player left, old-fashioned in style and on the verge of a nervous breakdown as well. In 1936 the others persuaded him to resign. He settled in Norway, and during the German occupation was arrested but was freed thanks to the intervention of Count Bernadotte, head of the International Red Cross. He fled to Sweden, but returned to Norway after the war. Ipolyi became a Norwegian citizen, taught a quartet in Bergen and became a professor. Mischa Schneider made sure that Ipolyi received the royalties due him, and he died in 1955.[3]

Boris Kroyt becomes violist[edit]

Finding a new violist to replace Ipolyi was urgent. The Australian Broadcast Corporation had engaged the Quartet for a twenty-week tour to start in May 1937 with four performances a week and the option of another ten weeks in New Zealand. They needed the money despite regular engagements in Europe and America. Roisman nearly hired Edgar Ortenberg, whom he had known when they were both children in Odessa and then again in Berlin in 1926, but Ortenberg’s wife wanted him to stick to the violin. Roisman then tried to locate his teenage friend Boris Kroyt in Berlin. Until the Nazis became all-powerful Kroyt had lived well, but the Nazis stopped all Jews from working except in Jewish groups. He had a wife and children to support, and they were all in danger. The Budapest offer came at the ideal moment. He was such a natural player that he could get away without practicing very much. They took time to get used to one another, but eventually attained a very high technical standard.[15]

In November 1936, they reached New York and critics were impressed as never before, comparing them with Toscanini and Schnabel. Concerts were well attended. In the spring of 1937, they went on to Australia, New Zealand and Dutch East Indies with equally good results. When the time came to return to Europe, they considered settling in Australia and held a vote on it. The Spanish Civil War had closed many venues in Italy and all in Spain. The Schneiders voted to settle while the other two voted to move on. Under the rule, a tie meant "no change" so they moved on. After playing in France and Britain, they reached New York again in March 1938.[16]

All the US concerts were negotiated by Annie Friedberg from New York. This continued throughout their time in the US, beginning with very little money and ending with excellent returns for them and her.[17]

They had made five US tours with no difficulty but this time they were refused entry. Their Nansen passports were not good enough, apparently. They were ignominiously carted off to Ellis Island in a coal barge. It took frantic string-pulling by Friedberg – involving Mayor La Guardia – to get them out just in time for their first concert. They weren't in the best state for a concert and thought it wasn't too good. Nevertheless they got a rave review from the New York Times. This, finally, opened the door to real success in the U.S. Suddenly all the critics were praising them as never before and audiences and bookings flooded in.[18] Considering what soon happened in Europe, the break came just in time.

On April 25, 1938, they recorded the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with Benny Goodman for the Victor label. This recording sold well although Goodman regretted not having first made a live performance. He and the quartet made only three concerts together: October and November 1938 and August 1941. Each time reviewers felt the result was accurate but lacked the inspirational feel that they expected.[19]

In 1939 they again had good results in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Norway and Britain but not in Spain and Italy, where people were more concerned with political issues. From the US they received a request to play five Stradivarius string instruments which needed regular use at the Washington Library of Congress. These instruments had been purchased and donated by Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who had a continuing influence. The recital hall on the grounds of the Library had just been built (in 1925) with money donated by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, a major benefactor of chamber music and of several music festivals. At that time, they felt it would keep them away from existing relationships in Europe.[20]

U.S. becomes the home base[edit]

In the summer they were back spending three months in the US at Mills College in Oakland California, a place where they could relax. The Pro Arte Quartet normally did this but this year they preferred to be in Belgium. They never returned and the Budapest went to Mills for the next fifteen years. That first year at Mills they learned that World War II had started in Europe and their European contracts were now void. The Library of Congress offer now sounded more attractive and they accepted it. Their concerts at the library continued for many years and created an important relationship for them.[21]

Since 1925 they had been making recordings for His Master's Voice, first at the Beethoven Saal in Berlin, then at Abbey Road Studio in London and from 1938 at Camden, New Jersey for RCA Victor, the US subsidiary of HMV. The HMV contract was valid until June 1940. It was not paying well and RCA had a good stock of recordings not yet published. They (RCA) were not keen to make any more recordings in 1939. The quartet found it difficult to persuade RCA to give them as much work as they wanted or to pay them as their new reputation might justify. RCA were also in no hurry to extend the existing contract. The quartet felt that with their increasing reputation in the US they could do better with Columbia Recording Company. Columbia were delighted to sign a deal and make as many recordings as the quartet wished as they had no existing stock. The deal was made and kept secret as long as possible. When they finally learned about it RCA wrote, “We are astonished…close to a definite breach of faith”. They should have realised that that they had no right to be the only negotiators in a deal. Over 35 years the quartet recorded 89 pieces, some of them several times. For many years it was Columbia’s leading classical music seller, quite a loss to RCA.[22]

Early on there were difficulties. First the American Federation of Musicians, protecting American jobs, demanded that someone should pay two members to be "standbys" during recordings. The quartet and Columbia argued about which of them should pay. After this was settled the AFM struck Columbia in a dispute that lasted until February 1945. Also, after war was declared, the US Government rationed materials for making records. Even so, between 1941 and 1946, the quartet earned $60,000 from Columbia in royalties. They also got $16,000 from HMV.[23]

Alexander Schneider replaced by Edgar Ortenberg[edit]

Sasha felt he could and needed to work outside the quartet. As second violin he did not get the same challenges as the leader. After thinking about this a lot, he finally reached his decision and told the others on November 26, 1943. He was still only thirty-five years old, having spent eleven years in the quartet and needed to expand his range. On January 1, 1944 the quartet selected the new second violin. He was Edgar Ortenberg, the man who had nearly been the violist.[24]

Like Joe and Boris, Edgar had grown up in Odessa. Until the Russian Revolution his father had been the director of a bank. Afterwards they were very short of money. In 1921 he won the gold medal at the Odessa Conservatory and was immediately hired to teach there. In 1924 he moved to Berlin to do better, just as Joe, the Schneiders, and Boris had done. After reaching Berlin he immediately got a scholarship at the Hochschule für Musik. He changed his name from Eleazer to Edgar. He started a quartet and they toured Europe until 1933 when the Nazis sacked them all and he quickly moved to Paris. There the Russian Conservatory formed a quartet and they had some success in Europe. When war was threatened he joined the French Army. In April 1940 he left because of illness. He and his wife left Paris just before the Germans got there. They went to Portugal and caught the very last Spanish ship to travel from there to the US. After struggling in New York for some time he received a second offer from the Budapest Quartet in December 1943 and this time accepted it.[25]

Edgar was generally considered a fine replacement for Sasha. However, some critics and all the players felt that he should play more forcibly. On the other hand he felt their playing was a bit rough. He also wanted to spend more time rehearsing since he needed to get used to their methods and accustomed to their large repertory. The others, especially Boris, were not so keen to rehearse. It took Edgar two years to feel fully at home. However, the others felt Edgar should do more private practice and he was becoming audibly nervous. Critics still felt the quartet was wonderful but not quite as good as before. Ortenberg was exhausted by the constant traveling. Late in 1948 the others told him they wanted a different second violinist. As soon as it was made public, Ortenberg was swamped by other offers. Ortenberg made his last performance with the quartet on March 10, 1949 at Cornell University. He joined the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and stayed there until he retired in 1984. He also taught at Temple University from 1953 to 1978.[26]

Jac Gorodetzky[edit]

The new second violin was Jac Gorodetzky. He was born in Odessa but the family moved to London when he was only one, to avoid a pogrom. They moved to the US before the war, settling in Philadelphia. He was well thought of as a student and secured good positions in orchestras and quartets. However his playing, like Ortenberg’s, was a little quiet. He was well thought of at the Budapest auditions and was in his mid-thirties.[27]

In 1950 the quartet went to Europe for the first time after the war. They agreed not to go to Germany, especially because Schneider had lost his mother and sister at Auschwitz. This tour, together with the continual demand in the US put heavy stress on Gorodetzky. He developed stage fright, sometimes demanding extra rehearsals of works they had already played.[28]

Then in September 1952 they played in Japan. There were the first quartet to arrive there after the war. The whole season was sold out in two hours. 3000 people were present at the first concert. There were staff to attend to their every need and cars to take them everywhere. One night they felt the need to get some exercise in Okayama. They were walking on a narrow road. Joe fell into a nine foot ditch and broke his left wrist. They had it set at the US Military Hospital in Tokyo. On return to the US they were told the wrist had been improperly set and it had to be broken and reset. Concerts were switched to trios and piano quartets. After months of hard work Joe resumed duties in Portland, Oregon on January 12, 1953.[29]

In 1954 they had another Japanese tour with even greater success but Jac was getting more uncomfortable. In February he told the others he wanted to leave. They hoped to talk him out of it. No one realised how unwell he was. Finally in November 1955 he killed himself in a small hotel in Washington. The other players felt awful. They played benefit concerts for his family at the Settlement Music School. Later Mischa left them most of his music and on his death Joe left them most of his money.[30]

Alexander Schneider returns[edit]

Joe refused to accept another new second violinist but fortunately they managed to persuade Sasha to return. Against their previous rule they allowed him to spend some time working independently because they needed him and they did not want to take as many engagements as before. As soon as he returned they all felt happier than for many years and the critics were fulsome in their praise.[31]

In the ten years he was away Sasha had been very busy. He rejected offers to lead the Pro Arte and Paganini Quartets. He toured with Ralph Kirkpatrick. He played unaccompanied Bach. He played trios. He studied with Pablo Casals in Prades and persuaded Casals to start festivals in Prades, Puerto Rico, Israel and Marlboro in Vermont. He started a quartet to record all the 83 Haydn quartets for the Haydn Society although they ran out of money before it was finished. He persuaded Mrs Coolidge to finance the provision of free outdoor concerts in Greenwich Village. He played with the Budapest when Ortenberg or Gorodetzky was not well.[31]

Decline[edit]

As the 1960s approached the quartet was very happy. It was the most popular and famous quartet, with 55 record albums published by Columbia and two million copies sold and playing in many famous venues and festivals. However in 1960 Joe started to have periods of poor intonation apparently owing to a mild heart attack at the end of 1960. Only then did he tell the others that, as early as 1939 he had been told that his blood pressure was high. Occasionally he had had intonation problems but in 1960 it got worse.[32]

In March 1962 they played their final concert in the Library of Congress. There had been a number of issues of which Joe’s intonation had been the worst. Critics and listeners had complained and Mrs Coolidge herself had complained. They were replaced by the young Juilliard Quartet.[33] Then in the autumn they were in Europe when suddenly Joe suffered a slipped disc. He restarted playing in early 1963 and they returned to Australia after twenty six years away. Joe’s energy was declining and they cut down the number of concerts year by year.[34]

Marlboro College[edit]

In 1955 Sasha had joined the Marlboro Music School and Festival at Marlboro College in southern Vermont. It was a School, a Music Festival and a Summer Retreat. He was a whirlwind. He pushed the young players to stretch their talents. In time he brought the other Budapest players and they made the place a breeding ground for a generation of chamber musicians. The school had been founded in 1950 by the violinist Adolf Busch and flautist Marcel Moyse and their families. Busch died before Sasha arrived but his son-in-law Rudolf Serkin was still very active and the two men became staunch friends. Sasha spent the next twenty summers there.[35]

In 1962 Sasha persuaded Mischa to come too and the next year the whole quartet came. Many experienced musicians came. Many talented younger players came and reached high standards. Students found Sasha assertive and his manner was a bit hard on those who were nervous or not reaching for the highest standards. For the best however he was perfect. Mischa and Boris were gentler. They were very willing to try new ideas from their students and each side was inspired by the enthusiasm of the other.[35]

Sasha persuaded Michael Tree, Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley and David Soyer to form a quartet – a daunting challenge for any player – and Boris suggested the name Guarneri. They spent a lot of time together at Marlboro and the Guarneri Quartet may be regarded as the musical heirs of the Budapest Quartet.[35] Sasha gave the quartet a piece of advice, "Whenever you play string trios and piano quartets, make it a rule that the second violin plays it and not the first....If you play only second violin, you get stale for other things". He said that, after he left the Budapest, it took him three years to get back to good playing condition.[36] The Emerson String Quartet takes a similar view and solves it by alternating between the two violin chairs.

In later years the Budapest played fewer concerts and saw each other only for concerts. Audiences filled the halls and they were admired but they did not practice very often either individually or together. There were errors of detail but the general effect was still good. Sasha felt he wanted to share what he was still learning but Joe wanted to stay as he was.[37]

Conclusion[edit]

In January 1965 the group spent twelve days recording Dvořák’s “American” Quartet and Smetana’s Quartet “From My Life”. Joe had major intonation problems and Mischa had trouble with his back. A recording of the Dvořák was spliced together from multiple takes and published but the players refused to accept a similar splice of the Smetana. Then Mischa and Boris and the Guarneri performed and recorded Tchaikovsky's “Souvenir de Florence” with success. Immediately Mischa had to have an operation on his back, which had troubled him since 1930. The operation failed, and a second attempt also failed. Misha never played again but he did teach extensively, including 25 summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. Mischa died on October 3, 1985 in Buffalo, New York.[38][39]

In 1977 Sasha abruptly left Marlboro. He never explained why but he and Serkin remained fast friends. In 1969 Boris died of cancer. In 1974 Joe had a heart attack and died. In 1993 Sasha had heart failure and died having played almost to the end.[39]

The Budapest String Quartet had a huge influence on chamber music in the United States and internationally. When they began in the late 1930s 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.[40]

Jascha Heifetz was once quoted as saying: "One Russian is an anarchist. Two Russians are a chess game. Three Russians are a revolution. Four Russians are the Budapest String Quartet."[41]

Recordings[edit]

Although most entries in the following lists are taken either from actual LPs and CDs and their liner notes or from trustworthy print or online sources, the lists are supplemented by a discography prepared by Sony Classical,[42] apparently for their own use in identifying stock numbers. However this Sony discography contains a number of errors in identifying recording dates, personnel, and in some instances even compositions and composers. All information from this Sony discography as shown below that could not be verified from another source is preceded by an asterisk [*] as being possibly questionable.

Square brackets indicate the initials of the violist, or of the second violinist; e.g., [Va=II] indicates István Ipolyi as violist. Several recording dates are either unspecified or unknown. All of the earlier recordings were first issued as shellac 78 rpm records, many later reissued as vinyl LPs, and subsequently in CD format. First issue of the late recordings was directly to LP format.

Recordings for HMV/Victor through 1938 include[edit]

1st Violin: Josef Roisman; 2nd Violin: Alexander Schneider; Viola: István Ipolyi or Boris Kroyt; Cello: Mischa Schneider

  • Bartók: Quartet no 2 in A minor, op 17 (*[Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 2 in G major, op 18 no 2 (*rec 1938 [*Va=BK]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-35240).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 3 in D major, op 18 no 3 (V 8860-2) (*rec 1935 [*Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-35240).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 7 in F major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 1 (HMV D 1660-3) [*Va=BK]; CD reissue *Sony SBK-47665, *Portrait SBK-46545).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 8 in E minor, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 2 (rec 1935 [Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643, CD reissue *Sony SBK-47665, *Portrait SBK-46545, Biddulph 80222).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 13 in B flat major, op 130 (V 8576-80/DB 2239-43) (rec 1933-4 [Va=II]; CD reissue Biddulph 80222).
  • Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat major, op 133 (DB 1559-60).
  • Borodin: Quartet no 2 in D major (Notturno only) (D 1441).
  • Brahms: Quartet no 2 in A minor, op 51 no 2 (V 8798-801/DB 2507-10) (rec 1935 [Va=II]; CD reissue Biddulph LAB-120/1).
  • Brahms: Quartet no 3 in B flat major op 67 (V 11545-8/DB 1859-62) (rec 1933 [Va=II]; CD reissue *Portrait MPK-45553, Biddulph LAB-120/1).
  • Brahms: String Quintet no 1 in F major, op 88, with Alfred Hobday (rec 1936 [Va=II?BK?]; CD reissue Biddulph LAB-120/1).
  • Brahms: String Quintet no 2 in G major, op 111, with Hans Mahlke (V 11553-5/DB 1866-8) (rec 1933 [Va=II]; CD reissue Biddulph LAB-120/1).
  • Brahms: String Sextet in G major, op 36, with Alfred Hobday & Anthony Pini (rec 1936 [Va=II?BK?]; CD reissue Biddulph LAB-120/1).
  • Haydn: Quartet in G major, op 76 no 1 (D 1075-7).
  • Mendelssohn: Quartet no 1 in E flat major, op 12 (V 14000-2) ([*Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 17 in B flat major, K 458 'Hunting' (D 1387-9).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 19 in C major, K 465 'Dissonance' (V 8836-8/DB 1863-5) (rec 1932 [Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-33324, *Odyssey Y3-35240, CD reissue EMI CDH-63697).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 20 in D major, K 499 'Hoffmeister' (V 11700-2/DB 2228-30) (rec 1934 [Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643, CD reissue EMI CDH-63697).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 23 in F major, K 590 (DB 2514-6) (*rec 1935 [*Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-35240).
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, K 581 with Benny Goodman (rec 1938 [Va=BK]; CD reissue EMI CDH-63697; Naxos Hist 8.111238).
  • Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor, D 703 (2 versions: (a) V 9273/D1421, (b) DB 2221) ([*Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643: version unspecified).
  • Schubert: Quartet in A minor, op 29 no 1, D 804 (V 11716-9/DB 2224-7).
  • Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D 810 'Death and the Maiden' (V 9241-5/D 1422-6).
  • Sibelius: Quartet in D minor, op 56 'Voces Intimae' (Sibelius Society Volume 3).
  • Tchaikovsky: Quartet no 2 in F major, op 22 (V 11330-4/D 1655-9).
  • Wolf: Italian Serenade in G major (1887) ([*Va=II]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y4-34643).

Recordings for Columbia from 1940 include[edit]

1st Violin: Josef Roisman; 2nd Violin: Alexander Schneider, Edgar Ortenberg, or Jac Gorodetzky; Viola: Boris Kroyt;
Cello: Mischa Schneider

  • Beethoven: Quartet no 1 in F major, op 18 no 1 (rec 1940 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 1 in F major, op 18 no 1 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 1 in F major, op 18 no 1 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • [Beethoven: Quartet no 2 in G major, op 18 no 2 (rec 1938: see HMV/Victor, above)].
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 2 in G major, op 18 no 2 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 2 in G major, op 18 no 2 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • [Beethoven: Quartet no 3 in D major, op 18 no 3 (rec 1935: see HMV/Victor, above)].
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 3 in D major, op 18 no 3 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 3 in D major, op 18 no 3 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 4 in C minor, op 18 no 4 (rec 1941 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 4 in C minor, op 18 no 4 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 4 in C minor, op 18 no 4 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 5 in A major, op 18 no 5 (Minuet only) (rec 1941 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62873).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 5 in A major, op 18 no 5 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 5 in A major, op 18 no 5 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 6 in B flat major, op 18 no 6 (rec 1945 [2V=EO]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 6 in B flat major, op 18 no 6 (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MP2K-52531).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 6 in B flat major, op 18 no 6 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M3S-606).
  • [Beethoven: Quartet no 7 in F major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 1 (rec 1930s: see HMV/Victor, above)].
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 7 in F major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 1 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-3316, CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 7 in F major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 1 (rec 1959 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-46545).
  • [Beethoven: Quartet no 8 in E minor, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 2 (rec 1935: see HMV/Victor, above)].
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 8 in E minor, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 2 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-3316, CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 8 in E minor, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 2 (rec 1959 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-46545).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 9 in C major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 3 (rec 1941 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870, *Sony SBK-47665).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 9 in C major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 3 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-3316, CD reissue *Sony MPK-45551, United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 9 in C major, op 59 'Rasumovsky' no 3 (rec 1960 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-47665).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 10 in E flat major, op 74 'Harp' (*rec betw 1940-44 [*2V=AS]; CD reissue *Sony SBK-47665).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 10 in E flat major, op 74 'Harp' (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-3316, *Odyssey Y3-35240, CD reissue *Sony MPK-45551, United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 10 in E flat major, op 74 'Harp' (rec 1960 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-47665, CBS MPK-45551).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 11 in F minor, op 95 'Serioso' (rec 1941 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 11 in F minor, op 95 'Serioso' (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; *LP reissue Odyssey Y3-3316, CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 11 in F minor, op 95 'Serioso' (rec 1960 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-46545, CBS MPK-45551).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 12 in E flat major, op 127 (rec 1942 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62873).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 12 in E flat major, op 127 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 12 in E flat major, op 127 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M5S-677).
  • [Beethoven: Quartet no 13 in B flat major, op 130 (rec 1933-34: see HMV/Victor, above)].
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 13 in B flat major, op 130 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 13 in B flat major, op 130 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M5S-677).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 14 in C sharp minor, op 131 (rec 1940 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62873).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 14 in C sharp minor, op 131 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 14 in C sharp minor, op 131 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M5S-677).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 15 in A minor, op 132 (rec 1942 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62873).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 15 in A minor, op 132 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 15 in A minor, op 132 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M5S-677).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 16 in F major, op 135 (rec 1940 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62873).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 16 in F major, op 135 (rec 1951 or '52 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170019).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 16 in F major, op 135 (stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col M5S-677).
  • Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat major, op 133 (rec 1961 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SBK-47665, CBS MPK-45551).
  • Beethoven: String Quintet in C major, op 29, with Milton Katims (rec 1945 [2V=EO]; CD reissue Sony MH2K-62870).
  • Beethoven: Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds, op 16 (version for piano and string trio), with Mieczysław Horszowski (LP Col MS-6473).
  • Brahms: Quartet no 1 in C minor, op 51 no 1 (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45686).
  • Brahms: Quartet no 2 in A minor, op 51 no 2 (LP Col M2S-734).
  • Brahms: Quartet no 3 in B flat major, op 67 (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45553).
  • Brahms: Piano Quartet no 2 in A major, op 26, with Clifford Curzon (rec 1952 [2V=JG]; LP Col ML-4630, CD reissue Naxos Hist 8.110306).
  • Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, op 34, with Clifford Curzon (rec 1950 [2V=JG]; LP Col ML-4336, CD reissue Naxos Hist 8.110307).
  • Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, op 34, with Rudolf Serkin (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45686).
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op 115, with David Oppenheim (rec 1959 [2V=AS]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45553).
  • Debussy: Quartet in G minor, op 10 (CD reissue CBS MPK-44843).
  • Dvořák: Quartet no 12 in F major, op 96 'American' (rec 1965 [2V=AS]; LP Col M-32792).
  • Dvořák: String Quintet no 3 in E flat major, op 97, with Walter Trampler (LP Col M-32792).
  • Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major, op 81, with Clifford Curzon (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; LP Col ML-4825, CD reissue Naxos Hist 8.110307).
  • Haydn: Quartet in G major, op 76 no 1 (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Haydn: Quartet in D minor, op 76 no 2 'Quinten' (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Haydn: Quartet in C major, op 76 no 3 'Emperor' (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Haydn: Quartet in B flat major, op 76 no 4 'Sunrise' (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Haydn: Quartet in D major, op 76 no 5 (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Haydn: Quartet in E flat major, op 76 no 6 (rec 1954 [2V=JG]; CD reissue United Archives UAR-003).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 14 in G major, K 387 (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 15 in D minor, K 421 (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 16 in E flat major, K 428 (rec 1950 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 17 in B flat major, K 458 'Hunting' (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 18 in A major, K 464 (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 19 in C major, K 465 'Dissonant' (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM2K-47219).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 1 in B flat major, K 174, with Walter Trampler (rec 1956 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 1 in B flat major, K 174, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 2 in C minor, K 406, with Milton Katims (rec 1946 [2V=EO]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 2 in C minor, K 406, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 3 in C major, K 515, with Milton Katims (rec 1945 [2V=EO]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 3 in C major, K 515, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 4 in G minor, K 516, with Milton Katims (rec 1941 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 4 in G minor, K 516, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 5 in D major, K 593, with Milton Katims (rec 1946 [2V=EO]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 5 in D major, K 593, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 6 in E flat major, K 614, with Milton Katims (rec 1949 [2V=JG]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: String Quintet no 6 in E flat major, K 614, with Walter Trampler (rec 1965-1966; Stereo [2V=AS]; LP Col D3S-747; CD reissue Sony CSCR 8346).
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K 478, with George Szell (rec 1946 [2V=EO]; CD reissue CBS MPK-47685, Naxos Hist 8.111238).
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K 478, with Mieczysław Horszowski (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in E flat major, K 493, with George Szell (rec 1946 [2V=EO]; CD reissue CBS MPK-47685, Naxos Hist 8.111238).
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in E flat major, K 493, with Mieczysław Horszowski (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; LP Col MS-6683).
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, K 581 'Stadler', with David Oppenheim (rec 1959 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Mozart: Serenade in G major, K 525 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' [string quintet version, with Julius Levine, double bass] (rec 1959 [2V=AS]; CD reissue Sony SM3K-46527).
  • Ravel: Quartet in F major (1902–03) (CD reissue CBS MPK-44843).
  • Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D 804 'Rosamunde' (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45696).
  • Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D 810 'Death and the Maiden' (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; CD reissue CBS MPK-45696).
  • Schubert: Quartet in G Major, D 887 (rec 1953 [2V=JG]; LP reissue Odyssey Y3-33320).
  • Schubert: String Quintet in C major, D 956, with Benar Heifetz, cello (CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170262).
  • Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D 667 'The Trout', with Mieczysław Horszowski and Julius Levine (CD reissue Sony SBK-46343).
  • Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D 667 'The Trout', with Mieczysław Horszowski and Georges E. Moleux (CD reissue United Archives UPC 3760138170262).
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major, op 44, with Clifford Curzon (rec 1951 [2V=JG]; LP Col ML-4426, CD reissue Naxos Hist 8.110306).
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major, op 44, with Rudolf Serkin (rec 1963 [2V=AS]; CD reissue CBS MYK-37256).

Miscellaneous live recordings include[edit]

1st Violin: Josef Roisman; 2nd Violin: Alexander Schneider or Edgar Ortenberg; Viola: Boris Kroyt; Cello: Mischa Schneider

  • Beethoven: Quartet no 12 in E flat major, op 127 (rec live March 15, 1941 [2V=AS] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 13 in B flat major, op 130 (rec live April 7, 1960 [2V=AS] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 14 in C sharp minor, op 131 (rec live May 7, 1943 [2V=AS] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 15 in A minor, op 132 (rec live December 20, 1945 [2V=EO] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Quartet no 16 in F major, op 135 (rec live March 16, 1943 [2V=AS] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat major, op 133 (rec live April 7, 1960 [2V=AS] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Bridge 9072 A/C).
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio no 9 in G major, op 121a 'Kakadu Variations', with George Szell (rec live May 16, 1946 [2V=EO] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Intaglio INCD 7191).
  • Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major, op 81, with Artur Balsam (rec live 1959 [2V=AS] at New York; CD reissue Documents LV 931/32).
  • Mozart: Quartet no 16 in E flat major, K 428 (rec live 1959 [2V=AS] at New York; CD reissue Documents LV 931/32).
  • Schubert: Quartet in D minor, D 810 'Death and the Maiden' (rec live 1959 [2V=AS] at New York; CD reissue Documents LV 931/32).
  • Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D 667 'The Trout', with George Szell (rec live May 16, 1946 [2V=EO] at Library of Congress; CD reissue Intaglio INCD 7191).

Sources[edit]

  • Brandt, Nat (1993). Con Brio: Four Russians Called the Budapest String Quartet. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-508107-2. 
  • R.D. Darrell, The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia of Recorded Music (New York 1936).
  • E. Sackville-West and D. Shawe-Taylor, The Record Year 2 (Collins, London 1953).
  • Photograph in R. Stowell (Ed), Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (2003).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Brandt (1993) pp 32-38
  2. ^ Brandt p 50
  3. ^ a b c d e Brandt p 62-63
  4. ^ Brandt pp 37-38
  5. ^ Brandt pp 38-40
  6. ^ a b Brandt pp 27-31
  7. ^ a b Brandt pp 41-42
  8. ^ Nat Brandt makes no mention of Son's death in Auschwitz in "Con Brio"; this was first discovered and entered on Joods Community Monument and German Wikipedia in 2012; See entry for Henri Son at Joods Community Monument which includes a copy of his Amsterdam police registration card.
  9. ^ Brandt pp 42-53
  10. ^ Brandt pp 50-53
  11. ^ Brandt pp 52-53
  12. ^ Brandt pp 53-59
  13. ^ Brandt pp 59-62
  14. ^ Brandt pp 60-62
  15. ^ Brandt pp 64–78
  16. ^ Brandt pp 78–80
  17. ^ Brandt pp 52, 84, 95, 96
  18. ^ Brandt pp 3–6, 81–83
  19. ^ Brandt pp 86–88
  20. ^ Brandt pp 12–26
  21. ^ Brandt pp 14-15
  22. ^ Brandt pp 89-91
  23. ^ Brandt pp 91-93
  24. ^ Brandt pp 97-102
  25. ^ Brandt pp 102-104
  26. ^ Brandt pp 101-109
  27. ^ Brandt pp 109-113
  28. ^ Brandt pp 113-115
  29. ^ Brandt pp 110-118
  30. ^ Brandt pp 119-122
  31. ^ a b Brandt pp 122-126
  32. ^ Brandt pp 167-171
  33. ^ Brandt pp 171-174
  34. ^ Brandt pp 174-177
  35. ^ a b c Brandt pp 177-185
  36. ^ Brandt p 99
  37. ^ Brandt pp 186-189
  38. ^ Bernard Holland, "MISCHA SCHNEIDER DIES AT 81; CELLIST FOR BUDAPEST QUARTET", New York Times, October 5, 1985
  39. ^ a b Brandt pp 190-195
  40. ^ Brandt pp 196-203
  41. ^ Brandt Endpaper
  42. ^ The Sony Classical discography is presented as Appendix 2 in Brandt, Nat (1993). Con Brio: Four Russians Called the Budapest String Quartet. Oxford University Press, USA.

External links[edit]