String Quintet in d minor, Op.1
For 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello
"I can warmly recommend Max Fiedler’s 1880 String Quintet in d minor which is grateful to play. At times, one can hear the influence of both Schumann and Brahms. The opening movement, Allegro, begins with a powerful and energetic main theme. The music, at times lyrical, is full of passion and the development show Fiedler’s excellent compositional technique. The second movement, Andante espressivo, is highly romantic and deeply felt, complete with a dramatic and restless middle section. Next comes a lively Allegro scherzando with two trios, the first march-like, the second more passionate. The finale, Allegro, like the first movement, begins in energetic fashion but with the second theme, the music turns more lyrical. This quite an effective movement as well."—The famous critic, Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.
Max Fiedler (1859-1939) was born in the German town of Zittau, Saxony. After studying with his father, he entered the Leipzig Conservatory where he continued his studies with Carl Reinecke. Fiedler enjoyed a career as both a concert pianist and a conductor. He was widely considered one of the best conductors of his day, the equal of Karl Muck, Felix Weingartner, Artur Nikisch and Hans von Bülow. Most critics of the time regarded him as the foremost interpreter of Brahms, with whom he had a personal relationship. Fiedler primarily wrote orchestral works but did not ignore chamber music, penning a string quartet and piano quintet in addition his string quintet.
Here is a fine mid-romantic era work which is good to hear and fun to play. It would do well in concert but presents no technical difficulties and should be much appreciated by amateurs players as well.