Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy 100th, William Schuman!

Okay, so I'm a little late to the party here, since the 100th anniversary of the birth of William Schuman (1910-1992) was at the beginning of the month (August 4) and here we are nearing the end of it, but what's a few weeks between friends?  In any case, to celebrate, here's the first recording of any of William Schuman's five string quartets (the first of which was withdrawn).

William Schuman: String Quartet No. 3 (1939)
Gordon String Quartet
Recorded c. 1946-47
Concert Hall Society Release AB, three vinyl 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 58.2 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 28.42 MB)

The Concert Hall Society was established in 1946 as a mail-order subscription label, and dedicated to presenting esoteric classical repertoire.  (Concert Hall Society also made the first recording of a William Schuman symphony - his fifth, the Symphony for Strings.)  Although RCA Victor had been using vinyl as a pressing material since 1945 for a limited number of releases, Concert Hall Society was one of the first two record labels to employ vinyl exclusively (the other was Young Peoples' Records, founded about the same time, and also as a mail-order subscription label).  For more information about the Concert Hall Society, click here.

We've certainly had a lot of important composer birthdays this year!  Two great American composers' centennials (William Schuman and Samuel Barber) and the 200ths of Chopin and the other Schuman(n) - Robert.


  1. Bryan,

    I very much look forward to this posting. Many thanks to you!


  2. lot of thaks, Bryan.
    i know about one (and the only!) recording of Schuman Concerto on Old Englsh Rounds (Donald McInnes, NYP, Camerata Singers, Leonard Bernstein Columbia M 35101) which is still not released on CD.
    a friend of mine, orchestra and quartet violist, has turned my attention to this work, though we bot haven't heard it.
    American violist Geraldine Walther now playing the viola part in nowadays Takács Quartet has performed this concerto several times since 2002, but never recorded it.
    could it be possible to find the Columbia LP with McInnes playing Schuman Concerto and to transfer this wonder?