Reading old newspaper from the 19th century is fun. Especially when you have a specific hobby / interest in mind. I found few of string quartet related article just by randomly search "string quartet" in the Library of Congress and manage to edit some of interesting stories.
This article found in New Ulm Review, dated 9th December 1914. The article scanned perfectly by silicone brain and thus enable the text version :
ONE OF THE NORTHWEST'S FOREMOST MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS.
The string Quartet has rightly been called the flower of instrumental music. The greatest composers, appreciating its worth, have written many of their noblest compositions in this form. Music lovers have always regarded the string quartet as the most perfect expression of the highest music, and the growth of public interest in it is evidenced in the popularity of such organizations as the Flonzaley and Kneisel quartets.
The playing of the McPhail String Quartet combines beautiful tone, rich and sonorous, with excellent ensemble. Under the direction of William McPhail it has reached a point of perfection rarely attained by similar bodies.
Every member an artist of the highest order and especially fitted for his respective part, the contribution qf each to the artistic results of the whole is invariably reflected in the perfect blending of tone and compelling charm of interpretation which characterizes the playing of this quartet.
William McPhail is a violinist of extraordinary gifts and attainments, possessing that rare combination of technic, temperament, and tone which has won for him an enviable reputation among the leading concert artist of the northwest.
Appearing as soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra at two of their regular concerts, Mr. MacPhail received,high praise for his brilliancy of execution, dignity of expression and sound musicianship.
Since returning from four year's study m music centers of Europe, his musical activities have been many and important, in the concert field as well as in the studio, where he has achieved tremendous success as an exponent of the Sevcik method.
The repertoire of the MacPhail Quartet comprises nearly the entire chamber music literature, including works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Grieg, Dvorak, etc., besides many arrangements of well known compositions by American, German, Scandinavian and other well known composers. The program for tomorrow evening, includes string quartets, violin solos, 'cello solos, trios for violin, viola and 'cello and duets for two violins.
William MacPhail later found MacPhail Music School and still in business until nowday. See the website http://www.macphail.org/ABOUT-MACPHAIL/HISTORY/index
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