Fine Arts Quartet: Brahms String Qts 1 & 2 (rec. 1961): Barenreiter-Musicaphon BM 30 L 1816
Jacket NM / LP NM / German pressing
This outstanding LP – a lovely collector's copy – from Barenreiter-Musicaphon (BM 30 L 1816, German pressing, mono) features the Fine Arts Quartet peerless readings of Brahms's String Quartets No. 1 in C minor Op. 51 No. 1 and No. 2 in A minor Op. 51 No. 2, both recorded in 1961 in Wilmette, Illinois, USA. At this time the Fine Arts Quartet was composed of Leonard Sorkin (1st violin), Abram Loft (2nd violin), Irving Ilmer (viola), and George Sopkin (cello).
From the website of Music & Arts, which has issued a superb CD tribute box to the FAQ, one reads: "The Fine Arts Quartet was founded in 1946 with two founding members, first violinist Sorkin and cellist Sopkin serving for 33 years until the ensemble disbanded in 1979. By the mid-1950s the Chicago-based FAQ established itself as one of the country's foremost chamber ensembles, touring throughout America and Canada and (starting in 1958) in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East-by the late 70s, the tour list encompassed 270 cities in 28 countries, with repeat appearances in many locales. The quartet was featured a number of times on the Today Show, performed on a Chicago production of the Ed Sullivan show, produced 20 hour-length programs on the quartet repertoire for National Educational Television (predecessor of PBS), and performed many broadcasts on Chicago's classical music station, WFMT, as well as taping archival programs for radio stations in England, Germany, Holland, France, and elsewhere. The FAQ of those years lives on in the esteem of many of today's established chamber musicians, as well as of young entrants into the profession, who grew up listening to the recorded performances of the ensemble."
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is near-MINT. Really, the flaws are quite minor – some miniscule bumping at corners and the barest evidence of shelfwear. Otherwise, the jacket appears almost as new. There are no bends, seamsplits or owners' markings and the album remains very solid, bright and glossy – overall, a very fine collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is near-MINT and plays without defect of any kind – a superb collector's copy.