Founded in 1953, the Allegri Quartet is Britain’s oldest chamber music ensemble. 70 years after its formation, Decca presents for the first time all of the quartet’s recordings made for the Argo label in one issue, complete with the original sleeves.
Founded in 1953 by four high-ranking string players who abandoned orchestral life for the greater freedom of chamber music, the quartet’s choice of name was inspired by Gregorio Allegri’s Sonata a quattro for solo strings, said to be the very first piece for string quartet in the form known today.
The quartet’s success and longevity are due not only to their exceptional musicianship, but also to the realization that a change in personnel, while not unproblematic, could ensure the Allegri Quartet’s continued existence. Their commitment to renewing their repertoire over the years, which has led them to more than 60 premieres by many leading composers since 1964, is also a factor. Allegri Quartet members are increasingly in demand as lecturers, and thanks to the generous support of the Radcliffe Trust, they have long-standing teaching appointments at many universities in the United Kingdom.
The set includes the 1969 Radcliffe Award-winning quartets of Sebastian Forbes, Elizabeth Maconchy, Robert Sherlaw Johnson, and Peter Sculthorpe.
• Collected here in one edition are the complete Argo recordings of the Allegri String Quartet
• 13 CDs with spined wallets, original jackets
• Highlights include not only great masterpieces of the quartet repertoire — the ageless works of Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms — but the 1969 Radcliffe Award-winning quartets of Forbes, Maconchy, Johnson and Sculthorpe
• The recordings are accompanied by a 40pp book (En/Fr/De) with new notes by Jeremy Hayes • Two-piece capbox, 40pp booklet, 13 spined wallets, original jackets / Approx. dimensions: 128x128x46mm