Quartetto Italiano

The Quartetto Italiano was an Italian string quartet.


Four young Italian music students joined against the war ended in 1945 with a string quartet together: Paolo Borciani and Elisa Pegreffi, first, respectively second violin, Lionello Forzanti, Viola, and Franco Rossi on cello. They came from different cities of Italy. And although the former traffic conditions aggravated their first meetings, held together young musicians and met regularly before completing her music studies, to make music together. When she finally came to the first concert performances to the public, they first called themselves Nuovo Quartetto Italiano.

The new quartet quickly became known in Italy. 1947 left Forzanti and the Quartet was awarded with Piero Farulli on the viola its final shape. This year, she made ​​guest appearances for the first time in England. This was followed by tours through France, Spain, Scandinavia, Holland and Germany. In 1951 there was the first invitation to concerts in the United States. Some months before departure, the ensemble changed its name and became the independent Quartetto Italiano.

This was followed by three decades of making music together, always in the same 1947 found formation. Only in recent years came in 1977 again with Dino Asciolla to a replacement, which in turn went to Farullis place. With the death of the primary violinist Paolo Borciani in 1985, the Quartetto Italiano disbanded.

The Quartet members

  • Paolo Borciani (1922-1985), first violin
  • Elisa Pegreffi (* 1922), 2nd Violin
  • Piero Farulli (1920-2012), Viola of 1947-1977
  • Franco Rossi (1921-2006), cello

The only line-up changes at the Viola:

  • Lionello Forzanti from 1945-1947
  • Dino Asciolla (1920-1994) from 1977-1981

Recordings and awards

In addition to countless concert appearances around the world, there was also many recordings. The first recording was Debussy and took place in 1946 in Switzerland for the Telefunken instead. In 1948 they switched to Decca, 1953, she took Columbia Records, and finally they remained from 1965 until their last recording in 1979 with Philips.

The repertoire of the Quartetto Italiano ranged from quartet arrangements of compositions by the Italian Baroque ( in the 50s ) about Luigi Boccherini and focus Viennese classical period to the complete recording of the quartet works of Anton Webern. In addition to the quartets of Debussy and Ravel they took Schubert String Quartet No. 13 "Rosamunde" and the " Quartet Movement " (D 703 ) is equal to three times over the years on.

Many of the recordings of the Quartetto Italiano have won awards, so in 1966 a Diapason d' Or and the Prize of the German Record Critics' Award for a recording of Schubert's String Quartets No. 10 D 87 and the "Rosamunde" Quartet No.13 D 804 ( the exception, in the Concert Hall Society appeared ). For their recording of the quartets of Brahms and Schumann in 1972, they received a second time the Prize of the German Record Critics' Award, a Dutch Edison Premio and the French Grand Prix at the Disco Philes. For her third recording of "Rosamunde" Quartet they were awarded with another Edison Award.

Discography (selection)

  • The Early Recordings (1946-1952) (Amadeus, 7 - CD box set, 2009)
  • Debussy, Ravel - String Quartets ( Philips, 1966, 1987)
  • Beethoven - The String Quartets (Philips, 10- CD compilation with recordings from 1967-1975, 1996)
  • Schubert - The Last Four Quartets (Philips Duo 2 - CD Comp, 1995 and 2010. )
  • Brahms, Schumann - String Quartets Op 67 and Op 41/2 (Philips, 1971)
  • Anton Webern - Complete Works for String Quartet (Philips, 1970, 1990)