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date: 21 October 2019

Aeolian Quartetlocked

  • Tully Potter

Extract

English string quartet. It was founded in 1926 as the Stratton Quartet by George Stratton, William Manuel, Lawrence Leonard and John Moore, and developed from the Wood Smith Quartet, in which Stratton and Moore played. It found fame after Carl Taylor and Watson Forbes took over the inner parts in 1932 and it was chosen to record Elgar's Quartet and Piano Quintet (with Harriet Cohen). The records were a great solace to the composer in his last illness. Moore remained with the ensemble until 1956 and Forbes until 1962; but Taylor was killed in the war and in all the quartet had 11 second violinists. The leadership also changed hands a few times after Stratton withdrew in 1944 and the title Aeolian Quartet was adopted. The later incumbents, all highly distinguished, were Max Salpeter (1944–6), Alfred Cave (1946–52), Sydney Humphreys (1952–70) and Emanuel Hurwitz. Many of the various formations were perpetuated on records. In particular the line-up of Humphreys, Trevor Williams, Forbes and Derek Simpson made beautiful recordings of Mozart's ‘Dissonance’ and Beethoven's last quartet in ...

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