Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two More by the Coolidge Quartet

Robert McBride
I recently acquired two more recordings by the Coolidge Quartet (William Kroll and Nicolai Berezowsky, violins; Nicholas Moldavan, viola; Victor Gottlieb, cello), and with them, I am about halfway to having a complete collection of the issued commercial recordings of this unjustly neglected ensemble. For the first one, which is the only single-record issue in the Coolidges' discography that I can trace, they are joined by Arizona-born composer-oboist Robert McBride (1911-2007), who gained some fame as a young man for writing pieces with catchy, evocative titles such as "Jingle Jangle", "Swing Stuff", etc. Arthur Fiedler promoted him on records with the Boston Pops before discovering Leroy Anderson (Youtube has his recording of "Fugato on a Well-Known Theme" here). His Oboe Quintet, despite its academic title, inhabits the same lighthearted world; it's in a single jazzy movement marked With kick:

Robert McBride: Quintet for Oboe and Strings (1937)
Robert McBride, oboist, with the Coolidge Quartet
Recorded October 27, 1939
Victor 2159, one 10-inch 78-rpm record
Link (FLAC file, 13.52 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 8.70 MB)

The other Coolidge item here is more self-explanatory; it's the third installment of their ill-fated Beethoven quartet cycle:

Beethoven: Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
The Coolidge Quartet
Recorded October 27, 1939
Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-650, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 45.64 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 30.68 MB)


  1. Alternate links:

    McBride FLAC -

    McBride MP3 -

    Beethoven FLAC -

    Beethoven MP3 -

  2. Dear Bryan, Thank you ever so much for these! The McBride is charming - I must confess I'd never heard of him. Fantastic to have the Beethoven, too, which I'm enjoying now.

    And the good news is, I've been able to find matrices and dates on Michael Gray's new site 'A Classical Discography'! I've added your take numbers, which Mike doesn't have. Turns out all sides were done in a row, on the same day!

    McBride: BS 43320-2/43321-1, rec. 27-Oct-39, Victor Studio No.2, New York

    Beethoven: CS 43322-2/43323-1, 43324-2/43325-1, rec. 27-Oct-39, Victor Studio No.2, New York

    Very best wishes, as ever, and thanks again,

    G (yes, a bit grumpy today but always cheered by your kind generosity)

    1. Oh Nick, that's incredibly good news about "A Classical Discography!" I now know what I'll be doing with my free Friday - looking up dates on all those Victors I've never been able to date, especially the Coolidge ones!

    2. Dear Bryan, I know what you mean - I'm addicted to this kind of discographic harvesting myself! In fact, I think I might do some now... thank you again! (And thank you, Mike Gray!) Nick

  3. Thank you so much! I'm very grateful, especially for the transfers, but also for the tip about the Gray discography.

  4. Thank you again for making these rare recordings available. I wish you luck in finding the rest.

  5. Thanks Bryan and Nick! Also thanks for the Mediafire links.

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  7. Thanks for all the great uploads. However, Beethoven 3 is down before I could get it. Can you please re-upload this item? Thanks in advance.