Music: Quartet with Tone

Good string quartets are about as rare in the U.S. as quadruplets. Last week in Berkeley, Calif, a new one took the air. The Paganini Quartet (so named because their cello, viola, and two violins are Stradivarii once owned by the great violinist, Niccolo Paganini) played Beethoven and Debussy at a brisker than usual clip, but the music was warm and dramatic. Wrote the San Francisco Chronicle's critic, Alfred Frankenstein: "Perhaps never before has one heard a string quartet with so rich, mellow and superbly polished a tone."

Like most string quartets, the Paganini has a liberal patron. She is Mrs. William...

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