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Emerson 52 CD DG set chronicles an amazing journey / WNPR News

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I know a lot of you around here recall watching with admiration and amazement the steady rise of the Emerson String Quartet, as they moved from complete unknowns to a place at the very pinnacle of the string quartet world. That's because you had a ringside seat: the Emersons showed up in our community in 1980, having been appointed to a one-year residency at The Hartt School, the performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford. That one-year appointment stretched into a remarkable -- and I think we can safely say, never to be repeated -- 21-year ride.

One of the hallmarks of the Emerson career -- at least, the first four decades of it -- was the steady string of recordings the quartet put out for Deutsche Grammophon. (Again, mostly because of the way the music business works these days, such a long single-label marriage is itself a phenomenon that will never be repeated.) Thankfully, DG has just issued a plump boxed set containing all the recordings the foursome did for the label. The box runs to 52 discs.

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