String Quartet No.2 in C Major
"Cherubini’s Second String Quartet started out life as a symphony composed in 1815 for the London Philharmonic Society. Some fourteen years later, he returned to it adding new material and an entire new movement, setting it for string quartet. It nonetheless can lay claim to being one of the most magnificent works he undertook. It is truly of great interested and should on no account be undervalued. "---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
"The work opens with a long, romantic introduction which is followed by the main section, an Allegro, in the style of an overture. The second movement, Lent, begins with a recitative of dramatic character, which colors the entire movement. It is highly emotional but is interrupted suddenly on a number of occasions which was typical of Italian opera composers of that period. A short Scherzo comes next, bursting with energy, it brings Beethoven to mind. A contrasting trio section in the minor us characterized by competing rhythms and a breathless execution. The virile and powerful finale, Allegro assai, again appears to have been inspired by Beethoven, especially the fugal episode in the middle section of the movement.” —–George de St. Foix writing in Cobbett’s Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music
Luigi Cherubini ( 1760-1842) was born Florence. He studied at the conservatories in Bologna and Milan and remained in Italy until 1788 when he moved to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. He made his name as a composer of opera, but by 1805 Parisian tastes had changed and the heavy, serious operas that he, Gluck and others had been writing fell out of fashion. Cherubini then turned to religious and instrumental music. He served as director of the Paris Conservatory from 1822 until his death and was regarded as one of France's leading musicians. Beethoven considered Cherubini the greatest living dramatic composer, while Cherubini was perhaps the only important composer in France, who held Beethoven to be the greatest genius of the day. Perhaps no other contemporary composer studied Beethoven's Middle and Late Quartets as did Cherubini, who both admired and understood them.
A highly original and fresh sounding work which sounds like no one else. It will make a deep impression in the concert hall but should also be investigated by amateur players. Either out of print or hard to obtain, we are pleased to reintroduce it.
Score & Parts: $31.95