String Quartet in G Major
“Giuseppe Buonamici's String Quartet from the first measure to the last is a joy to play. It unites melodic invention with clarity of form and beauty of tone. It appeared in 1902 and was dedicated to his friend Joseph Joachim. The first movement, Allegro, could serve as a an excellent prototype of how to build a movement with clarity. The Adagio which follows is full of fine harmonic episodes. A fresh and piquant Scherzo, Allegro molto, with trio comes next. A substantial Adagio introduction leads to the finale, Allegro, with its magnificent main theme. The quartet is not difficult to play and can be recommended to and especially deserves the attention of amateur players.”—–The well known chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Giuseppe Buonamici (1846-1914) was born in the Italian city of Florence. After studying piano locally, he attended the Royal Bavarian Conservatory in Munich where he continued his piano studies with Hans von Bülow and studied composition with Joseph Rheinberger. He then pursued a career as a teacher and composer, eventually becoming a professor of piano at the Instituto Musicale in Florence. While the quartet was not published until 1902, there is considerable evidence which dates it to Buonamici's time in Munich, more specifically 1870.
This quartet has been called a treasure of the quartet repertoire and enjoyed considerable popularity up until the First World War after it, like so many other fine works from the Romantic era, disappeared. It is suitable for concert and should not, as Altmann writes, be missed by amateurs.