String Quartet No.2 in a minor, Op.62
Brahms, who almost never praised the works of other composers had this to day about Robert Fuch's works, “Robert Fuchs is a splendid musician, everything is so fine and so skillful, so charmingly invented, that one is always pleased.” It is interesting to note that by the time Fuchs wrote his first a string quartet, the year of Brahms' death in 1897, his music was no longer showing the influence of Brahms. His String Quartet No.2 in a minor was published the following year in 1898.
Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) was born near the Styrian capital of Graz and attended the University of Vienna Conservatory studying with Otto Dessoff and Joseph Hellmesberger. By 1875, he himself was teaching at the Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of Professor of Composition. He was one of the most famous and revered teachers of his time. Mahler, Sibelius, Hugo Wolf, Franz Schmidt, Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schrecker and Richard Heuberger were among his many students.
Clearly this quartet, as well as the others, is a work of his maturity. The opening Allegro moderato ma energico, as the title suggests is energetic and shows power than Fuchs usually wrote into his music. The second movement, Andante sostenuto, is a song without words. A Menuetto comes next. It begins in a rather old fashioned way but quickly shows its true romantic colors. The trio section is a finely contrasting Mendelssohnian elves dances. The graceful finale, Allegretto grazioso, has a markedly charming, even elegant quality and is quite effective.
Our edition is based on the 1899 edition by Schlesinger but to it we have added rehearsal numbers to aid in preparation of performance.