What an apt title for
this splendid publication. We immediately
think of the String Quartet by that
name, viz. Brainin, Nissel, Schidlof
and Lovett, who charmed us all over
the world for so many years. After an
auspicious start in Wigmore Hall in
January 1948, the Amadeus continued
until the end of 1987, after 40 years
when Schidlof died. This is a book with
a difference in that it is more of a
scrapbook with sketches, facsimiles
of programmes and many other memorabilia
all of which are beautifully reproduced.
Naturally there is
an insight into the life and family
of each of the four protagonists. And
as so often, great musical abilities
manifested themselves early in each
of their lives. Of course they had contact
with many other musicians in particular
Yehudi Menuhin, and more directly Benjamin
Britten and Imogen Holst.
For us now the flavour
of their musicianship comes from the
discography. This is comprehensive and
we start with 78s, LPs and finally CDs.
And as expected a substantial number
of their recordings were issued on CD.
Immediately one thinks of Haydn’s Emperor
quartet or Mozart’s Hunt quartet, but
looking at what is (or was) available
there is a fascinating and comprehensive
set of Brahms works and a delightful
collection they are. And finally this
publication is being sold in aid of
the Amadeus Scholarship Fund. The future
too must be supported.
This review has previously been published
in the FRMS Bulletin ©