Amar-Hindemith Quartet: Amar-Hindemith Quartet Complete Recordings – PACD 96070/2

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In addition to being one of the outstanding composers of the 20th century, Paul Hindemith was long active as a performing musician. Trained as a violinist, he eventually settled on the viola as his main instrument. He was also said to be able to play any instrumental part of any work he composed. As a conductor, his repertoire ranged from Monteverdi through Berg in addition to his own works.

In the 1920s, Hindemith became a member of a successful string quartet, lead by Turkish violinist Licco Amar. Hindemith’s cellist brother Rudolf was a member of this ensemble through most of its existence. In 1925, when the quartet had already toured Europe and given dozens of performances, it began its prolific although brief recording career. Between 1925 and 1928, the Amar or Amar-Hindemith Quartet (known by both names at various times) recorded about four hours of music, including two versions of Hindemith’s most popular string quartet (his No. 4), along with works of Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Reger, Bartók (the first recording of any of his major works, the Second Quartet), Stravinsky, and movements from Krenek, Dvořák, and Mozart.

Except for the 1928 sides, these recordings were made by problematic methods. The 1925 recordings were made by the acoustical process. The 1926 recordings were made by the “light-ray” process, an electrical system which produced results barely distinguishable from acoustical recordings. Only the two Mozart movements done in 1928 were recorded by the standard Western Electric system. The well-known audio restoration engineer Mark Obert-Thorn has done wonders with these recordings, producing listenable results.

This set presents the ensemble’s complete recordings for the first time; fewer than half of them have been reissued previously. The previous reissue of the Bartók Quartet was made from damaged originals; the new edition is free of such flaws. The set presents a vivid portrait of a major composer and his colleagues performing the works of other composers with directness and great insight.


>>>>> See full program notes by Tully Potter <<<<<


PACD 96070/2 TRACKLIST

CD 1 [79:11]
MOZART: Quartet No.16 in E-flat, K.428
1. I. Allegro non troppo 6:43
2. II. Andante con moto 8:48
3. III. Menuetto & Trio 4:14
4. IV. Allegro vivace 4:39
Recorded 1927 ∙ Matrix nos.: 138/43 bi ∙ First issued on Polydor 66568/70 earlier version:
5. IV. Allegro vivace 4:36
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix no.: 414 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66418

MOZART: Quartet No.23 in F, K.590
6. I. Allegro moderato 7:38
7. II. Andante 4:39
8. III. Menuetto: Allegro 2:45
9. IV. Allegro 4:17
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix nos.: 409/13 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66416/8

10. BEETHOVEN: Duo in E-flat for Viola and Cello “with two obbligato eyeglasses”, WoO
32 5:56
Recorded 1925 ∙ Matrix no.: 1256 av ∙ First issued on Polydor 66193

BEETHOVEN: Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op 95 (“Serioso”)
11. I. Allegro con brio 4:29
12. II. Allegretto ma non troppo 6:46
13. III. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso 3:57
14. IV. Larghetto espressivo – Allegretto agitato – Allegro 4:41
Recorded 1927 ∙ Matrix nos.: 144/8 bi ∙ First issued on Polydor 66571/3
DVOŘÁK: Quartet in F, Op 96 (“American”)
15. IV. Finale: Vivace ma non troppo 5:03
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix no.: 428 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66421

CD 2 [75:29]
VERDI: Quartet in E minor
1. I. Allegro 6:43
2. II. Andantino 6:56
3. III. Prestissimo 2:27
4. IV. Scherzo Fuga-Allegro assai mosso 3:15
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix nos.: 423/7 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66419/21

REGER: String Trio No.1 in A minor, Op. 77b
5. I. Sostenuto – Allegro agitato 7:41
6. II. Larghetto 6:58
7. III. Scherzo: Vivace – (Trio:) Vivace 2:22
8. IV. Allegro con moto 5:53
Recorded 1927 ∙ Matrix nos.: 71/6 bo ∙ First issued on Polydor 66575/7

HINDEMITH: String Trio No.1, Op. 34 (1924)
9. I. Toccata. Schnelle Halbe: Die Einleitung ein wenig breiter 4:13
10. II. Langsam und mit großer Ruhe (Achtel) 7:24
Recorded 1927 ∙ Matrix nos.: 77/9 bo ∙ First issued on Polydor 66573/4

HINDEMITH: Quartet No.4, Op. 22 (1921) [Electric version]
11. I. Fugato. Sehr langsame Viertel 5:13
12. II. Schnelle Achtel. Sehr energisch. Presto 4:23
13. III. Ruhige Viertel. Stets fließend 6:06
14. IV. Mäßig schnelle Viertel 1:44
15. V. Rondo Gemächlich und mit Grazie 4:09
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix nos.: 429/34 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66422/4

CD 3 [75:55]
HINDEMITH: Quartet No.4, Op. 22 (1921) [Acoustic version]
1. I. Fugato. Sehr langsame Viertel 5:20
2. II. Schnelle Achtel. Sehr energisch. Presto 4:21
3. III. Ruhige Viertel. Stets fließend 6:25
4. IV. Mäßig schnelle Viertel 1:46
5. V. Rondo Gemächlich und mit Grazie 4:22
Recorded 1925 ∙ Matrix nos.: 905/10 az ∙ First issued on Polydor 66198/200

6. HINDEMITH: Die Serenaden, Op. 35 (1924) V. Duett 2:52
Recorded 1925 ∙ Matrix no.: 1257 av ∙ First issued on Polydor 66193

BARTÓK: Quartet No.2, Sz. 67 (1915-17)
7. I. Moderato 13:15
8. II. Allegro molto capriccioso 8:15
9. III. Lento 12:28
Recorded 1926 ∙ Matrix nos.: 415/22 bg ∙ First issued on Polydor 66425/8

10. KŘENEK: Quartet No.3, Op.20 (1923) IV. Adagio (Walzertempo) 3:32
Recorded 1925 ∙ Matrix nos.: 912 az ∙ First issued on Polydor 66201

11. STRAVINSKY: Concertino for String Quartet (1920) 5:27
Recorded 1925 ∙ Matrix no.: 911 az ∙ First issued on Polydor 66201

Amar-Hindemith Quartet (Licco Amar, violin I; Walter Caspar, violin II; Paul Hindemith, viola; Rudolf Hindemith, cello)
Amar Trio (Walter Caspar, violin; Paul Hindemith, viola; Rudolf Hindemith, cello)
Hindemith Duo (Paul Hindemith, viola; Rudolf Hindemith, cello)


APPENDIX:
MOZART: Quartet No.15 in D minor, K.421

12. III Menuetto & Trio – Allegretto 3:42
Recorded 24 October 1928 ∙ Matrix no.: 2-21021 ∙ First issue Parlophon P-9351

MOZART: Quartet No.21 in D, K.575
13. II Andante 4:09
Recorded 24 October 1928 ∙ Matrix no.: 2-21022 ∙ First issue Parlophon P-9351

Amar-Hindemith Quartet (Licco Amar, violin I; Walter Caspar, violin II; Paul Hindemith, viola; Maurits Frank, cello)