Piano Quartet in a minor
Thťodore Dubois (1837-1924) was born in the French town of Rosnay. After an impressive career at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Ambroise Thomas, he won the coveted Prix de Rome. Among the many important positions he held during a long career was that of director of the Madeleine, where he succeeded Saint-SaŽns, and later of the Paris Conservatory. Among his many students were Paul Dukas and Florent Schmitt.
Dubois wrote a considerable amount of music in nearly every genre. Like Saint SaŽns, he eschewed impressionism, and continued on in the French Romantic tradition which the former had helped to pioneer. It is characterized by, logic, clarity, fine melody, drama and a refined sense of taste.
His music is finely crafted and clearly shows that he was a gifted melodist. It is truly a pity his chamber music is unknown because it is absolutely first rate. The Piano Quartet in a minor, dates from 1907. The opening Allegro agitato con calore, begins with a sweeping theme in the strings to a breathless accompaniment in the piano. Here by turns we find drama and gorgeous melody all swept along by a tempestuous breeze. The sweet Andante molto which follows is full of romantic lyricism. The third movement, Allegro leggiero, is a buoyant and rhythmically bouncy scherzo, full of lightness and humor. Dubois specifically states that finale, takes its themes from the preceding three movements and as such is a summary of the entire work. These these are masterly transformed and cleverly altered in the powerful and exciting denouement.
This is a first rate work by any standard and marvelous example of late French romanticism.
Virtually unobtainable outside of France, it has even been long out of print there. We are pleased to reintroduce it and hope that it will find a place on the music stands of both professionals and amateurs alike.