CD-1176(3) Béla Bartók: The Six String Quartets with THE FINE ARTS QUARTET (Leonard Sorkin and Abram Loft, violins; Irving Ilmer, viola; George Sopkin, violoncello).

The acclaimed 1959 Concert-Disc recordings; digitally restored from the original masters – issued under license from Countdown Media.

SPECIAL: 3 CDs priced as 2!

CD 1 of 3 (1:16:46) String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7 (1908) (30:50) String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17 (1917) (28:28) String Quartet No. 3 (1927) (17:16). CD 2 of 3 (54:19) String Quartet No. 4(1928) (23:07) String Quartet No. 5(1934) (31:05). CD 3 of 3 (57:07) String Quartet No. 6 (1939) (30:10); and from a 1959 Chicago television program: Bartók’s First Quartet discussed by members of The Fine Arts Quartet [audio only] (26:41). Remastering engineer: Maggi Payne. Extensive booklet notes by Abram Loft. UPC # 0-17685-11762-6 [AAD] stereo.

Buzz: This set was very highly regarded during its LP-life which lasted over a quarter-century. Harold C. Schonberg wrote in The New York Times: “The Fine Arts Quartet is an excellent ensemble: secure in intonation, musically alert, precise in workmanship. It makes a good showing in the Bartók quartets, approaching the music with sensitivity and instrumental strength.” Here are some other review clips:

“I don’t know where you will find better Bartok playing … urgently concentrated playing of imagination, virtuosity, and authority…” —Claudia Cassidy in Chicago Tribune

“Splendid performances…” —Jack Diether in American Record Guide

“…strong, vital and superbly accurate!” —Edward Tatnall Canby in Audio

“…revelatory and admirable in every way.” —Allen Hughes in Saturday Review


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