Monday, December 21, 2015

Mozart: Quartet in D, K. 499 (Budapest Quartet)

As I have mentioned before, this year I came into possession of four or five Budapest Quartet sets from the ensemble's vintage period (1933-35) in superb early Victor pressings. Here is one of those, a Mozart recording from 1934:

Mozart: Quartet in D Major, K. 499
The Budapest String Quartet (Roisman-Schneider-Ipolyi-Schneider)
Recorded April 5, 1934
Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-222, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 67.87 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 40.13 MB)

It's interesting to note that the records of this set were issued in Victor's lower-priced 12" Red Seal series (9000 and up), priced at $1.50 per disk, as opposed to the $2 series (6000 and up, skipping to 14000 when 8999 was reached). Only in 1935 did the Budapest Quartet "graduate" to the higher-priced series; of course, such distinctions were erased when, in 1940, Victor dropped the price of almost all Red Seals to $1 per 12" record. (The exceptions were the operatic ensembles - Lucia sextets and Rigoletto quartets - which remained $3.50 as before.)

My best wishes to everyone for a Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous 2016!