Saturday, December 8, 2012

Two by the Coolidge Quartet

The Coolidge Quartet with Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge
(left to right: Nicolai Berezowsky, William Kroll,
Mrs. Coolidge, Nicholas Moldavan, Victor Gottlieb)
Today I present two more sets by the Coolidge Quartet, that pioneering group named after the great patron of early 20th-century chamber music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.  On records, besides their aborted project to record the complete Beethoven quartets, the Coolidge Quartet brought to American record buyers many previously unrecorded works; they had a penchant for American works, as well as for unearthing rarities from the Classical era.  Both are represented here:

Griffes: Two Sketches Based on Indian Themes and
Chadwick: Quartet No. 4 in E minor - Andante semplice
The Coolidge Quartet (Kroll-Berezowsky-Moldavan-Gottlieb)
Recorded May 27 and 31, 1938
Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-558, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 46.55 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 25.62 MB)

Schubert: Quartet No. 9 in G minor, D. 173
The Coolidge Quartet (Kroll-Berezowsky-Moldavan-Gottlieb)
Recorded October 28, 1938
Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-641, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 53.85 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 32.15 MB)


  1. Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing these! I don't suppose you have them playing Mrs. Coolidge's own String Quartet in e minor, in set M-719? Best wishes, Nick

    1. Quick update - I enjoyed both sets very much, as music, as performances, and in your excellent transfers! It would be highly interesting to do a survey/discography of works purporting to be based on or inspired by native American music. Best wishes, Nick

    2. Alas, no, Nick - the Mikrokosmos list back in May had M-719 but it sold almost immediately; these two sets were the Coolidge "leftovers."

  2. Just listened to the Chadwick, nice to hear that at least one of the Boston Six understood what Dvorak was trying to do with the Op. 96 rather than complaining about 'negro swamp music'...

    If there are any recordings of the complete versions of Chadwicks 4th & 5th Quartets I for one would love to hear them.

    1. The Kohon Quartet did No. 4 in a Vox Box back in the early 70s, a recording still available on CD. "The Early String Quartet in the U.S.A." is the title of the compilation, which coincidentally includes a number of works first recorded by the Coolidge Quartet.

  3. I'll be listening to this tomorrow, on the 80th anniversary of its recording - and my birthday (year purposely excluded!).