The CD's of 1807 & Friends
"The Wister Quartet" is a studio recording made by DTR Recording Co., featuring Sándor Devich's arrangement of Franz Liszt's exciting "Mephisto Waltz No. 1," Grazina Bacewicz's atmospheric String Quartet No. 4 (1950), and Antonín Dvořák's monumental String Quartet in G Major, Op. 106. This recording was nominated for a Grammy award.
"The Philadelphia Connection — 1807 & Friends" contains four works by Philadelphia-born composers: the Wister Quartet's highly acclaimed recording of Samuel Barber's String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 11 (featuring the "Adagio for Strings" slow movement); Philadelphia Orchestra bassoonist Bernard Garfield's listener-friendly Quartet for Bassoon and Strings (1959); Bonnee Hoy's hauntingly expressive "Lament" for solo violin; and Allen Krantz's eloquent "Sonata for Violin and Guitar" (1993). This is also a studio recording produced by DTR.
"Live!" series of CD's contains recordings taken live and unedited from our performances.
1807 Live! Vol. 1 features the Wister Quartet playing Giacomo Puccini's haunting "Crisantemi," Ernö Dohnányi's sumptuous String Quartet in Db Major, Op. 15, and Johannes Brahms' eloquent String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2.
1807 Live! Vol. 2 is called "Archduke Live!" and contains Beethoven's great "Archduke" piano trio and Dohnányi's expressively beautiful Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 1. Nancy Bean is the violinist and Lloyd Smith the cellist in the trio, and the pianist is the internationally acclaimed concert artist Marcantonio Barone. For the Dohnányi the Wister Quartet joins forces with Marcantonio Barone.
1807 Live! Vol. 3 features the Wister Quartet and contains Charles Tomlinson Griffes' evocative "Two Sketches Based on Indian Themes" for string quartet, Dmitry Shostakovich's dramatic String Quartet No. 8 (dedicated to the victims of fascism and war), the all-time favorite "Serenade" String Quartet attributed to Joseph Haydn and listed as Op. 3, No. 5, and six of the Wister Quartet's favorite best-loved encores.
1807 Live! Vol. 4 features the Wister Quartet and has Giuseppe Verdi's virtuoso String Quartet in E Minor, Louis Gesensway's nostalgic "Five Russian Pieces," Maurice Ravel's glowing String Quartet in F Major, and Lloyd Smith's quirky "Storm Echoes Suite" Op. 4 for accordion and strings (violinist Davyd Booth plays the accordion!).
1807 Live! Vol. 5 features Duo Paganini (Nancy Bean, violin and viola, and guitarist/composer Allen Krantz). It contains two of Nicolò Paganini's charming "Centone di Sonate," Nos. 1 and 4; Agustin Barrios' plaintive "An Alm for the Love of God" for solo guitar; Schubert's exquisitely melodic "Arpeggione" sonata transcribed for viola and guitar; Allen Krantz's lovely "Nocturne" for viola and guitar, Op. 23; and Astor Piazzolla's intriguing "Histoire du Tango" for violin and guitar. The encore on the CD is Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns."
1807 Live! Vol. 6 features the Wister Quartet with Joseph Haydn's magical "Sunrise" String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 4; Beethoven's extroverted String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 6; and Claude Debussy's powerful String Quartet, Op. 10.
1807 Live! Vol. 7 features Duo Parisienne (Nancy Bean, violin and viola, and Anne Sullivan, harp) with guest artist Philadelphia Orchestra flutist David Cramer. It contains Jacques Ibert's "Entr'acte;" a Mazurka by Emil Mlynarski; three gorgeous short works by Claude Debussy — his best-loved "Beau Soir," "Rêverie," and "Clair de Lune." Franz Doppler's fascinating "Casilda Fantasie" is next, and then Jacques Ibert's magical "Two Interludes" follows. Going back to the 17th century, we hear Marin Marais' very charming "Suite" transcribed for viola and harp and finally Camille Saint-Saens' spontaneous-sounding "Fantaisie."
1807 Live! Vol. 8 features the Wister Quartet and is called "It Takes Four to Tango." It contains Joseph Haydn's energetic "Rider" Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3; four Tangos arranged for string quartet (yes, it works!) — Gardel's "Por Una Cabeza," Villoldo's "El Choclo," Gade's "Tango Jalousie," and de Abreu's "Tico-Tico." Also featured is Lloyd Smith's arrangement of Manuel de Falla's famous "Danse Espagnole" and Alexander Borodin's tuneful String Quartet No. 2 in D Major (themes from this quartet were incorporated into the Broadway musical "Kismet").
1807 Live! Vol. 9 features the Wister Quartet joining forces with pianist Marcantonio Barone and Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim in a performance of Ernest Chausson's monumental "Concert for String Quartet, Violin and Piano." It also contains Mozart's delightful divertimento, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," K. 525, and four of Antonín Dvořák's beautifully expressive "Cypressen" for string quartet.
1807 Live! Vol. 10 — we offer an unusual mix of works, starting with Joseph Haydn's good-natured Piano Trio in Eb Major, Hob. XV:29; then Bohuslav Martinu's mix of quirky and fun in his Quartet for Oboe and Piano (1947); and Louise Farrenc's brilliant Piano Quintet No. 1 in A Minor, Op 30. Two Fritz Kreisler encores complete this volume, his beloved "Londonderry Air" and "Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven." You will hear Fritz's cellist brother Hugo (really Lloyd) in these arrangements.
1807 Live! Vol. 11 — this is our “1807 does 1708” Baroque concert CD just released this year. It features six great Baroque chamber works: Antonio Caldara’s impressive Sonata a Tre in C Minor, Op. 1, No. 6; Sammartini’s delightful Notturno No. 5 in A Major; Pietro Locatelli’s dramatic Violin Sonata in C Minor, Op. 6, No. 5; G. Ph. Telemann’s eloquent Flute Sonata in D Minor; Giuseppe Tartini’s impassioned Violin Sonata entitled “Didone Abbandonata” and J. S. Bach’s marvelous Trio Sonata from his monumental “Musical Offering” (which he wrote for Frederick the Great in 1747).
We also have produced a CD in cooperation with The Delius Society of a concert given in 2008 in tribute to Ralph Vaughan Williams by the Wister Quartet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death. The first work is for cello and piano (played by Lloyd Smith and Davyd Booth, that most versatile of musicians!), Vaughan Williams' "Six Studies in English Folk Song" (1926). Frederick Delius' "Légende" for violin and piano (Nancy Bean and Davyd) follows. The Wister Quartet performs Vaughan Williams' "Nocturne and Scherzo" (1906) and a very beautiful and eloquent new work by Frank James Staneck, "A Suite for Ursula." Philadelphia Orchestra violist Che Hung Chen joins the Quartet in a performance of Vaughan Williams' "Phantasy Quintet" (1912) and the encore is Lloyd Smith's arrangement of Sir Edward Elgar's "Nimrod" from the "Enigma Variations" for orchestra.
And if that isn't enough, we can also offer two CD’s by The Amerita Chamber Players, a collection of Baroque masterworks produced by the America-Italy Society featuring live performances of a Concerto by Charles Avison (after Domenico Scarlatti); Antonio Vivaldi's rousing Concerto in G Minor for two cellos and continuo (Efe Baltacigil and Lloyd Smith are the cellists); Tomaso Vitali's famous "Ciaconna" for violin; Gaetano Donizetti's "Introduzione in D Minor;" Alessandro Scarlatti's brilliant Toccata in G Minor for harpsichord (Davyd Booth displaying the last of many instruments he has mastered!); Arcangelo Corelli's exquisite Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 5, No. 7; and Giovanni Bottesini's marvelous "Gran Quintetto" in C Minor.
Our second CD features Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim in a spectacular performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Cellist Hai Ye Ni performing Vivaldi’s virtuoso Concerto in G Minor for two cellos with Lloyd Smith.
We have a new CD as of 2023: "The Music of Marcel Farago”. It contains our live recordings of his first string quartet, Op. 1 (“Hebraic”) and several other chamber works of his which we have performed on 1807 & Friends concerts: a lively Romanian Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 52; a nod to the Baroque, Toccata and Ciaconna, for violin and cello; and Straussiana, a study in the style of the music of Richard Strauss, for string quartet. Marcel was a gifted and prolific composer and a cellist in The Philadelphia Orchestra. A Holocaust survivor, he wrote his Op. 1 quartet while in hiding from the Nazi’s during World War II. It is a moving testament to his courage and faith during horrific times.