Released in 1987
(barcodes 3129671411629, 3129671411728, 3129671411827).
In 1955 the French string ensemble Quatuor Parrenin (Parrenin Quartet) celebrated its 600th concert with a complete performance in Paris of the six string quartets (quatuors à cordes) of Béla Bartók (1881-1945) - "this was the first time they had been performed by a group of French musicians. The concert proved so successful that the quartets were heard again in 1956 and then recorded: this was also the first time they had been recorded by a French quartet whose achievement received the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles Cros and was hailed by the press as one of that year's principal musical events."
Thirty years later, "it appeared absolutely necessary to reissue this famous recording on compact discs. However, the listener must be reminded that the original recording was monophonic, and we therefore ask his indulgence for certain technical imperfections which do not meet with present-day digital standards..."
Francis Poulenc wrote in 1956, "The magnificent recording by the Parrenin Quartet fills a gap in European recording catalogues. Doubtless it will win new admirers to Bartok as well as gladdening the hearts of those who, like myself, hold this composer in immense esteem, for his '6 Quartets' are one of the pinnacles of contemporary music."
DISC ONE (catalogue no. 14.116-2):
* Quatuor No.1 , Op.7 (1908)
* Quatuor No.3 (1927)
DISC TWO (catalogue no. 14.117-2):
* Quatuor No.4 (1928)
* Quatuor No.5 (1934)
DISC THREE (catalogue no. 14.118-2):
* Quatuor No.2 , Op.17 (1915-17)
* Quatuor No.6 (1939)
Recorded in 1956 in Paris.
Playing times: 47:16, 55:02, and 57:23.
Each disc is packaged in a standard jewel case, with an 8-page booklet in French and English (see photos for extracts). The discs show some faint marking in places. The booklets have been handled but are clean, unmarked, and uncreased.
A note about the images:
All images are photographs of the actual items on offer (not stock images): (1) the front covers of the booklets; (2-4) the rears of the cases; (5-6) extracts from the booklets; and (7) one of the discs.