String Quartet No.2 in E Major, Op.33
"Volkmar Andreae's Second String Quartet appeared in 1921. It is lighter in mood and shorter than the First Quartet. The first movement, Andante moderato, has pleasing melodies, the second theme is particularly attractive. The muted second movement, Allegretto mosso, is quite original. The dance-like main section is humorous and tonally is quite appealing. A slow movement, Molto lento is a warm, deeply felt elegy which is interrupted by a stormy middle section. The spirited finale, Allegro molto, is quite pleasing with its fine themes and dance-like rhythm. This quartet plays quite well and does not present any great technical problems. In the concert hall it is sure to make a strong impression. This a quartet which certainly should not be undervalued."---The noted chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962) was born in the Swiss capital of Bern. He studied at the Cologne Conservatory under Carl Munzinger and after a short stint at Munich working as an opera coach, he moved to Zurich where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming one of the most important figures on the Swiss musical scene. From 1906 to 1949, he was conductor of the renowned Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and headed the Zurich Conservatory from 1914 to 1939. He conducted throughout Europe as was regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of Bruckner. In addition to his work as a conductor and teacher, he devoted considerable time to composing. While his works received praise from contemporary critics, like those of so many other modern composers, his works were not given a place in the standard repertoire.
This is another very fine quartet which should have entered the modern repertoire, but was by-passed no doubt because Andreae, being a Swiss, was never able to get the attention the work might have achieved if he had been an Austrian or German. Out of print for a very long time, we are confident that both professionals and amateurs who give it a chance will be quite pleased.