Jan Brandts Buys
Soundbites courtesy of
String Quartet in c minor, Op.19
"Brandts Buys Op.19 String Quartet is an excellent work, to be recommended for private or public performance"---Walter Wilson Cobbett, writing in his Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Jan Brandts Buys (1868-1939) came from a long line of professional musicians. His father was an organist in the town of Zutphen in the Netherlands where Jan was born. He studied at the Raff Conservatory in Frankfurt and in 1893 settled in Vienna where he got to know Brahms, who along with Edvard Grieg, praised his early works. His piano concerto won an important international prize and such famous artists as Lilli Lehmann often included his songs on the same program with those of Schubert. He was best known for his comic operas such as The Tailors of Schonau and The Man in the Moon, which gained considerable international acclaim. But he did not ignore chamber music, penning several works various ensembles.
The String Quartet in c minor dates from 1911. The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players describes the work as follows:
"The magnificent and somewhat dramatic main theme to the first movement, Tempo Rubato, is deeply felt and highly effective. The finely wrought thematic material is skillfully handled. The lovely Intermezzo which follows has an old-fashioned feeling aura to it. The third movement, Ziemlich langsam, with its artfully executed changes of tempo and mood, might almost be considered a theme, which is like a folk tune, and set of variations. The splendid finale, Allegro ma non troppo, combines joviality with lyricism. I can recommend this work, which has no great technical difficulties, for both the concert hall and home music making."
This fine work had vanished in the wake of World War I. Out of print for a very long time, we are pleased to introduce this very approachable late-romantic, early modern quartet