Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Catterall Quartet

Label showing Victor sticker for importation into the USA
Part 2 of my reissue series devoted to Arthur Catterall continues with all three complete string quartets recorded and issued by the Catterall Quartet (Arthur Catterall and John S. Bridge, violins; Frank S. Park, viola; Johan C. Hock, cello) - Beethoven's Op. 18, Nos. 1 and 2, and Brahms' Op. 51, No. 1.  (The group also subsequently recorded a third Beethoven quartet, presumably complete, on nine sides - No. 13 in B-Flat, Op. 130, a work otherwise unrecorded acoustically - but this, alas, was unissued.)  Here are the details:

Beethoven: Quartet No. 1 in F, Op. 18, No. 1 and
Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 22 - Scherzo
Catterall Quartet
Recorded May 8, 1922, and April 30 and June 18, 1923
HMV D 947 through D 950, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 94.53 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 31.75 MB)

Beethoven: Quartet No. 2 in G, Op. 18, No. 2
Catterall Quartet
Recorded June 19, 1923, and May 6, 1924
HMV D 997 through D 999, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 67.22 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 23.27 MB)

Brahms: Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1
Catterall Quartet
Recorded June 18 and 19, 1923
HMV D 791 through D 794, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 89.84 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 31.38 MB)

Included in all three packages is a text file containing information about all the Catterall Quartet's recordings, for both HMV and Columbia, of which I'm aware.

The Catterall Quartet's recording career for HMV effectively ended when the Virtuoso String Quartet was formed by the Gramophone Company in 1924.  The Catterall Quartet moved to Columbia after the introduction of electrical recording, but their repertoire there consisted mainly of potboilers, the only Beethoven being the slow variations movement of Op. 18, No. 5 (the only Beethoven quartet that Columbia's "star" ensemble of the period, the Léner Quartet, didn't record until the 1930s).  Here is that sole Beethoven recording:

Beethoven: Quartet No. 5 in A, Op. 18, No. 5 - Andante cantabile
The Catterall Quartet
Recorded June 16, 1926
English Columbia 9141, one 78-rpm record
Link (FLAC file, 21.13 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 7.9 MB)


  1. What, no comments!? What ingrates we are! Yesterday, I listened to your dub of the Léner's acoustical Beethoven Op.131 and today I downloaded your FLAC version of this Brahms and am listening now! Thank you again so much. By the way, do you know Catterall's lovely HMV disc of Elgar's Chanson de nuit and Chanson de matin? It's on CHARM. Best wishes, Nick

  2. Over the last couple of days i've downloaded so much music from your blog that i find potentially extremely interesting - generally performers i've not heard of, and instead of cluttering the place with 'thank yous' i'll just express here, for now, my appreciation for your offerings.

    So far i've listened to these recordings from Catterall Quartet and indeed these are exceptional performances - their playing is wholly in tune with the music, and that whilst being surprisingly different from all the other renditions i've heard.

    Thank you very much. It's wonderful these old recordings are given a chance to be heard today, and not least because they are music worth hearing.

  3. I am actually cluttering the place with "thank yous". I'm delighted that you are sharing your music museum with the world.