String Quintet No.2 in a minor, Op.40
For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos
"The String Quintet in a minor, Op.40 was published in 1848 but could well have been written earlier. The first cello is entrusted with the presentation of the lyrical and somewhat sad main theme to the opening Allegro espressivo e sentimentale, before the others join in. The second theme is of a very different sort, direct from the Italian opera of the time. Strangely, it reminds one of the lovely cello melody in the trio of the third movement of Verdi’s quartet, then yet to be composed! The lovely slow movement, Andante cantabile ed espressivo, also seems to take Onslow for melodic inspiration. Both cellos are used to maximum advantage in presenting the theme. The use of a very dramatic and stormy interlude is also a page right out of Onslow’s book, but again, this is not imitation and this first rate writing can clearly stand on its own. A somewhat aggressive and angry Minuetto, allegro impetuoso, follows. The cello parts are every bit the equal of the violins if not more important. Here, we find an excellent trio, full of contrast and mood. The first cello sings a lovely tune to the pizzicati of the other voices. Very effective. In the finale, Agitato presto, the aura of Onslow hovers over this exciting and finely wrought movement. This quintet is in the masterwork category, the equal of Onslow’s best."---The Chamber Music Journal
Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski (1807-67) was the son of a kapellmeister to a Polish count who held much the same duties that Haydn did with the Esterhazys. Training from his father and experience with the count’s orchestra provided Dobrzynski’s early musical education. Later he went to the Warsaw Conservatory and studied piano and composition with Josef Elsner. While he achieved only moderate success in his native Poland, in Germany, his works were highly praised, and critical reviews in newspapers, such as those in the influential city of Leipzig, were very favorable.
Here is a superb work that should interest both professionals and amateurs. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.