Friday, May 22, 2015

First Recordings by the First Piano Quartet

I'm revisiting the reclaimed record pile this week, with the first three issued recordings by the First Piano Quartet (Vladimir Padwa, Frank Mittler, Adam Garner, Edward Edson). Initially all three were issued in Victor's "Double Feature" series, a semi-classical line priced 25 cents lower than the Red Seal series. The 1948 RCA Victor Catalog describes these as having teal labels; however, as can be clearly seen, my copy of one of them has an ordinary black label. My guess is that they replaced the teal labels with black ones as being cheaper to produce. In any event, all three issues were subsequently upgraded to Red Seal status a year later, the form in which I have the other two (in somewhat battered copies, I'm afraid):

Chopin: Polonaise in A-Flat, Op. 53
RCA Victor 46-0005, one 78-rpm record
Paganini: Variations in A minor (composed by the ensemble's members)
Chopin: Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 6, 1 and 9
RCA Victor 12-0250, one 78-rpm record
Liszt: Second Hungarian Rhapsody
RCA Victor 12-0251, one 78-rpm record
The First Piano Quartet
Recorded c. early 1947
Link (FLAC files, 57.89 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 41.69 MB)

The Paganini Variations were the group's radio theme signature, according to the label, which also bears the cryptic composer credit "Paganini-Garner-Edson-Mittler-Padwa" - it is of course the same theme that also inspired Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Lutoslawski and so many others for variations.


  1. Alternate links:



  2. Fascinating. Many thanks Bryan.