Unfortunately the tape from which these soundbites are taken were full of distortion. We have removed as much as we could but quite a lot still remains. We apologize for this, but believe the soundbites will still give a good idea of what this fine work sounds like. We recommend keeping the volume on the low side to minimize the distortion.
String Quintet in A Major, Op.4
For 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello
"Victor Ewald's String Quintet in A Major, which was published in 1895, makes a good impression in performance, is clearly written and is a very attractive work which not only belongs in the concert hall but also in the homes of amateurs who will certainly enjoy it. From the very start of the opening movement, Allegro, we are treated to a winning melody. The main theme appeals by its originality. The second movement, a fleet and dance-like Vivace, is a superb example of what a scherzo can be with its graceful and fetching melody. The Andante, which serves as the slow movement, is full of warmth and in no way contrived. The finale, Allegro, bubbles forth with high spirits and vitality but is not without compelling lyrical episodes. The whole thing is superbly conceived and executed."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.
Victor Ewald (1860-1935) was born in the then Russian capital of St. Petersburg and lived most of his life there. At the surprisingly young age of 12, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied cello with the famous virtuoso Karl Davidov and composition with Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov and Nikolai Sokolov. He pursued a dual career as a professor of civil engineering and as a musician. He served for 20 years as the cellist of the famous Belaiev String Quartet (see our webpage on Les Vendredis) and composed a string quartet which was awarded a prize in a quartet competition whose judges were Tchaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakov. In addition to the quartet and this string quintet, he wrote 5 quintets for brass instruments and today, if he is remembered at all, it is for these brass quintets which are often performed and have been recorded several times.
Sadly, his excellent string works have never been recorded and have been out of print for a century. We were able to find an old tape of the String Quintet which unfortunately was full of distortion. We tried our best to fix it and have removed a lot of the distortion but some remains. We apologize for this, but feel the soundbites from it will still give you an excellent idea of this fine work.
Parts & Score: $38.95