Lancia Media Factory announces a new Guarneri String Quartet album, “French Album No. 1” released worldwide on March 15, 2011.

Culled from a recording made in December 2000 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, French Album No.1 features one of the seminal monuments to French quartet literature: Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, and reunites the quartet with Grammy-award winning producer Max Wilcox who recorded their legendary sessions with Artur Rubenstein in the 1960s.

Founded in 1964, the Guarneri String Quartet was one of the most important and revered ensembles in classical music until their retirement in 2009. Described by the N.Y. Times as “having no superior on the world’s stages” the original lineup of Arnold Steinhardt (violin), John Dalley (violin), Michael Tree (viola), and David Soyer (cello) also had the distinction of being music’s longest-running artistic collaboration. This recording, made in their 37th year together, was the last by the original lineup.

Occupying the border between Romanticism and the early 20th Century, Ravel’s one and only string quartet stands amongst chamber music’s most alluring and beloved works. Exquisitely interpreted and performed as only the Guarneri can, this beautifully recorded album is the culmination of 37 years of extraordinary talent, success, and emotional commitment from one of the greatest quartets in history.