Guarneri Quartet

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CharmNewton
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Guarneri Quartet

Post by CharmNewton » Tue May 05, 2020 10:29 pm

Lance, you are right about their being the preeminent quartet among American quartets from the mid-1960s and into the 1970s for their youth, interpretive warmth, virtuosity and rich sonority. Very different from the Juilliard Quartet, another great and expressive quartet, but one that did not cultivate a beautiful quartet sound.

I became a big admirer of the Guarneri Quartet still have most of their vinyl records for RCA as well as some CD replacements of warped pressings. I didn't collect their later Philips recordings--critical opinion was not favorable--but it would be nice to hear that second Beethoven cycle. As far as I know, it was only re-issued on Brilliant Classics and not for long.

John

Lance
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Re: Guarneri Quartet

Post by Lance » Tue May 05, 2020 11:10 pm

John … right on! I, too, am much more enamored with the RCA recordings and really never got into the Philips recordings. The Guarneri's RCA recording [62310] of Schubert's String Quintet in C Major, D956 (with Leonard Rose, cellist) is one of the most extraordinary recordings of that work I have ever heard. I often have thought that should be played at my funeral! And their collaboration with Artur Rubinstein and Emanuel Ax are top-drawer recordings as well.
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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barney
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Re: Guarneri Quartet

Post by barney » Wed May 06, 2020 7:33 am

Lance wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 11:10 pm
John … right on! I, too, am much more enamored with the RCA recordings and really never got into the Philips recordings. The Guarneri's RCA recording [62310] of Schubert's String Quintet in C Major, D956 (with Leonard Rose, cellist) is one of the most extraordinary recordings of that work I have ever heard. I often have thought that should be played at my funeral!
SNAP. I already had the slow movement played at the funeral of my son, and have asked musician friends - provided I predecease them, as is likely - to play it live at mine.

Re Guarneri, I'm pretty sure I have a book by the first violinist who is highly entertaining. I love the anecdote where Rubinstein mimics another famous pianist by pretending to vomit into the piano before a concert. Rubinstein did it at a rehearsal, but the original pianist was not pretending! Imagine, as a tuner, being confronted with that, Lance. Not sure whose job it would be to clean it up, but you can be sure it wasn't the perpetrator. :lol:

maestrob
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Re: Guarneri Quartet

Post by maestrob » Wed May 06, 2020 12:20 pm

Agreed! I had their Beethoven set on Philips LPs, which I found to be quite good, but when I bought CDs, I opted for the Quartetto Italiano instead, and never acquired the RCA set. Checking on amazon, I was pleased to see that much of their excellent work is still in print and available for listening. The Rubinstein/Brahms CD is quite good as well. Much of the Guarneri's output on RCA is still given 5 stars by dozens of reviewers: I'm glad to see that their work still garners the respect it's due.

Barney, what an excellent anecdote! Yikes! :D

barney
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Re: Guarneri Quartet

Post by barney » Wed May 06, 2020 1:13 pm

Thanks, Brian. Actually, I just checked and I kept a record of 3 Rubinstein anecdotes by Steinhardt, the Guarnieri's first violinist. They are worth repeating, even at risk of sending the thread on a tangent - not that such a thing could ever happen on CMG !

Artur Rubinstein came to play at a rehearsal with the Southern California Junior Symphony when Steinhardt was a student. “Everything about him was striking: his shock of curly hair, his prominent nose, his husky voice, his grace, his poise, his humour. But when Rubinstein sat own and began to play the Tchaikovsky piano concerto, even we youngsters could tell that he was struggling with passages that came out blurred and somewhat uneven. Suddenly Rubinstein stopped, rose from the piano, and addressed us. ‘I want to apologise for my playing. Last night I smoked too many cigars,’ he said with a conspiratorial wink, ‘had too much to drink, and stayed up far too late. What I really need now is not the Tchaikovsky concerto but two aspirins and a good snooze’.” Then he sat down and played the concerto with an electricity and verve the memory of which all of us will carry to our graves.


Rubinstein told the Guarnieri about a famous pianist with a drinking problem. He demonstrated by walking shakily to the piano, bowing with exaggerated dignity to the audience (in this case the four of us) and turning around and retching violently into the piano.

Rubinstein, who was generally sparing in his praise of other pianists, worshipped Rachmaninov. Between takes he told us of a dinner with Rachmaninov at his home in southern California sometime around 1940. Rubinstein’s latest recording of the Grieg piano concerto had just been released and he was especially pleased with it. Knowing that it was Rachmaninov’s favourite piano concerto, he couldn’t resist playing the recording during dessert and coffee. Rachmaninov sat impassively as they listened, while Rubinstein squirmed. He was hoping for a favourable response from the man who was generally regarded as the greatest pianist of his time. When the Grieg finally came to an end, Rachmaninov remained seated at the dinner table for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually he roused himself from his introspection. ‘Arthur,’ he said. Rubinstein leaded forward expectantly. ‘Yes, Sergei.’ Rachmaninov thought a moment more. ‘Arthur, piano out of tune.’
Indivisible by Four, Arnold Steinhardt, Guarnieri Quartet
:lol: :lol: :lol:

maestrob
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Re: Guarneri Quartet

Post by maestrob » Wed May 06, 2020 1:33 pm

:lol:

Very clever! I imagine Rachmaninoff's pride wouldn't let him praise the performance, but he couldn't find fault with Rubinstein's playing! Incidentally, I grew up with that 78RPM set, and later as a toddler was gifted his mono recording, then released on 45RPM, of all things. Both long gone, but I have the stereo remake on CD, and rank it as one of the finest.

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