Notes & Reviews:
The year 2010 marked a century since the London String Quartet, known affectionately as the LSQ, gave its first concerts. Britain's leading chamber ensemble for two decades, it was equally well known in America. In 1925 leading American critic Olin Downes hailed 'the finest quartet playing that has been heard this Winter in New York'. The LSQ gave many premières, made myriad records and at different times included Albert Sammons and William Primrose. That almost no trace of the group remained in the catalogs in its centenary year was sad. The five programs performed at the Library of Congress from 1943 to 1951, issued here for the first time, inevitably give a better idea of the LSQ's capabilities: for one thing, they are played straight through, before a sympathetic audience, rather than being done in a sterile studio by the old stop-start 78rpm method.