String Quartet No.1 in f minor, Op.49
Eduard Franck's First String Quartet was composed no later than the early 1850's and quite possibly before. Franck did not get around to publishing many of his earlier works sometimes until decades after they were written. It is certainly the work of a young man, full of drama, passion and youthful exuberance. The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing of this work had this to say:
This excellent composer does not deserve the neglect with which he has been treated. He had a mastery of form and a lively imagination which is clearly reflected in the fine and attractive ideas one finds in his works. The String Quartet in f minor, strongly influenced by Beethoven's Op.95, is still worthy of public performance. The opening Allegro is broadly designed with an emotional, rhythmically incisive main theme. The second subject is calmer and the short closing section is ingenious. The second movement, Adagio, is inspired by deep and genuine emotion. The Minuet which follows is pleasant while the trio section has a flowing, refreshing melody. The main theme of the finale, Allegro appassionato, is as the marking suggests, passionate. However, the other themes are graceful and more relaxed. The coda is quite effective.
Eduard Franck (1817-1893) was born in Breslau, the capital of the Prussian province of Silesia. He was the fourth child of a wealthy and cultivated banker who exposed his children to the best and brightest that Germany had to offer. Frequenters to the Franck home included such luminaries as Heine, Humboldt, Heller, Mendelssohn, and Wagner. His family’s financial position allowed Franck to study with Mendelssohn as a private student in Dusseldorf and later in Leipzig. As a talented pianist, he embarked upon a dual career as a concert artist and teacher for more than four decades during the course of which he held many positions. Although he was highly regarded as both a teacher and performer, he never achieved the public recognition of his better known contemporaries such as Mendelssohn, Schumann or Liszt.
Out of print for more than a century, we wish to thank Eduard Franck's grandson, Professor Dr. Paul Franck and great grandson, Dr. Andreas Franck, for making the parts available to us so that we could bring this fine work back for contemporary players to enjoy.
Parts & Score $31.95