Piano Quintet No.1 in a minor, Op.30
For Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass and Piano
"The main theme of the opening movement to Louise Farrenc's Piano Quintet No.1 in a minor, Allegro, is full of possibilities... Farrenc’s style is clearly that of the Romantic era with all the parts being integrated and with no trace of concertante style...In the second movement, Adagio non troppo, one is particularly struck by how perfectly the piano is integrated into the ensemble. It has a beautiful, dreamy Schumannesque opening theme entrusted to the cello, high in its tenor register. The second theme, which appears but once, is in the minor. The presentation of it by the viola intensifies the aura of unrest which disturbs this otherwise peaceful Idyll. Next comes a marvelous breathtaking Scherzo, presto. The piano and the violin present most of the thematic material chasing after each other at breakneck speed. The buoyant middle section is every bit as good. The opening theme of the convincing finale is begun by the violin and is full of forward thrust. The second theme has a jaunty quality, a little like an Elgaresque March Militaire."---The Chamber Music Journal
Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) enjoyed a considerable reputation during her own lifetime as both a performer and a teacher. Her chamber music is on a par with most of her well-known male contemporaries, although unfortunately these works never achieved the renown they deserved and fell into oblivion shortly after her death. As a young girl, Farrenc, a piano prodigy, was fortunate in studying with such great masters as Ignaz Moscheles, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Anton Reicha.
The Op.3o Piano Quintet was composed between 1839 and 1842 and published by her husband's firm, A. Farrenc. Our new edition is based on the original which had no rehearsal letters, no bowings or fingerings, a recognition of the fact that most musicians like to made their own. Our new edition has added rehearsal letters but we have refrained from adding bowings or fingers following the lead of the original edition. This is a work which is very worthy of concert performance and will also be enjoyed by amateur groups.