Adolphe Blanc

Soundbite 1st Movt

Soundbite 2nd Movt

Soundbite 3rd Movt

Soundbite 4th Movt


Soundbites Courtesy of

 C2 Hamburg / See below

String Quintet No.4 in E flat Major

For 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass (or 2 Cellos)

Adolphe Blanc's String Quintet No.4 in E flat Major was composed in 1857 immediately after he finished his third string quintet. It is for the same combination—2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass or 2 Cellos. The opening movement, Allegro risoluto, begins with a robust subject which pushes ahead full of energy. The second movement, Andante quasi adagio, consists of a folk melody which is used as the theme for a set of three big variations. Next comes another Allegro risoluto, marked Menuet, but it really more in the form of a thrusting Scherzo with lovely contrasting middle section. One fetching theme after another can be found in the finale, Allegro. We wish to thank C2 Hamburg and the Fabergé Quintet for allowing us to use soundbites from their CD Adolf Blanc Quintets, Catalog No. ES 2046 available in records shops everywhere.


Adolphe Blanc (1828-1885) was born in the French town of Manosque. His musical talent was recognized early and he entered the Paris Conservatory at age 13 first taking a diploma in violin and then studying composition with the then famous composer Fromental Halevy. Although for a time, he served as a music director of a Parisian theater orchestra, he primarily devoted himself to composing and most of his works were for chamber ensembles. During his lifetime, these works were much appreciated by professionals and amateurs alike and in 1862 he won the prestigious Chartier Chamber Music Prize. Besides the fact that his works are pleasing and deserving of performance, Blanc's historical importance cannot be underestimated. He was one of the very few in France trying to interest the public, then with only ears for opera, in chamber music. He paved the way for the success of the next generation of French composers, Among his chamber works are three string trios, four string quartets, seven string quintets—four for 2 violins, viola, cello and bass or two cellos, the other three for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello—-fifteen piano trios, three piano quartets, four piano quintets and a septet for winds and strings.


Please note: We looked for a set of parts for many years and at last were able to find a copy of the one and only edition at a library where they were bound in a large volume that made scanning quite difficult and created some staff bending, Additionally, it must be noted, the publisher did not use good quality ink or paper. The result being that the ink on these nearly 160 year old parts had faded in places and there were all sorts of water marks, smudges, and detritus. We have spent many hours digitally cleaning, darkening, lightening and correcting errors and have been able to create a very serviceable performance edition in order to save this fine work from oblivion. The music is easy to read but, it is not pristine like a newly published work nor the equal in quality of a modern edition. The price, less than our generally very low prices, reflects this fact. 


(A) 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass-Parts $27.95
(B) 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos-Parts $27.95
(C) All Six Parts $34.95



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