String Quartet in d minor, Op.10
"Bergh's Op.10 String Quartet in d minor which appeared in 1903 is a noteworthy work, written in true quartet style, cleverly put together. The first movement begins with a short Adagio introduction which leads to an Allegro energico which has for its main subject an acerbic and foreboding melody played over an insistent pulsating rhythm, but there is also a charming intermezzo interlude. The middle movement is an updated Mendelssohnian Scherzo. Although there is no slow movement, the finale has for its theme a slow, religious Andante. It is followed by 24 excellently contrasting variations, the last one being a superb fugue. (our soundbite presents only a few of these) The work presents no great technical problems for performance."---the well-known chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Rudolph Bergh (1859-1924) not to be confused with his famous father Rudolph Bergh a physician and zoologist, was also trained as a zoologist and worked as a professor of zoology before switching to music. He studied with Heinrich von Herzogenberg in Berlin and later became a professor at the Royal Danish Conservatory. He was influenced by Brahms and Carl Nielsen.
This is a powerful work exhibiting a fusion of post Brahmsian tonality with several modern tendencies. It is certainly a good candidate for the concert hall because it of its originality while at the same time presenting an attractive choice of an early modern work of no particular difficulty for amateurs.
Unavailable for more than a century, it is a pleasure to make it available again and hope that it will find a place on the stands of professionals and amateurs alike.