Out of the ashes of WWII several young Italian musicians created small ensembles and chamber orchestras. One of the most notable and long-lived has been the Quartetto Italiano. They made their debut in 1945 at Carpi and all four players were still in their early 20's.
With very little change in personnel over the years, the group retained a consistent sound and a growing international reputation. They were first celebrated for French and Italian music, particularly Debussy and Ravel and the championing of modern Italians such as Ghedini and Bussotti. It was however when they began to tackle Beethoven that the Quartetto Italiano reached the pinnacle of their fame. They were famous for playing the cycle from memory.
In the 1960s the Quartetto established a long and productive partnership with Philips Classics for whom they recorded the complete Beethoven Quartets as well as the quartet literature of Mozart, Brahms, Schumann and Webern.