5 Intermezzi for String Quartet, Op.10
Hans Gál (1890-1987) was born in the small village of Brunn am Gebirge, just outside of Vienna. He was trained in that metropolis at the New Vienna Conservatory where he taught for some time. Later, with the support of such important musicians as Wilhelm Furtwangler, Richard Strauss and others, he obtained the directorship of the Mainz Conservatory. Gál composed in nearly every genre and his operas were particularly popular during the 1920's. Upon Hitler's rise to power, Gál was forced to leave Germany and eventually emigrated to Britain, teaching at the Edinburgh Music Conservatory for many years.
The Op.10 Intermezzi were composed in 1914. They consist of five short to medium length movements which together make up a Serenade equal in length of a standard string quartet. Writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players, Wilhelm Altmann has this to say about the 5 Intermezzi:
“These are uncommonly well-written, rich in melody and present no technical hurdles for performance. They should be particularly appealing to amateurs, but are of such a high quality that they deserve concert performance by professionals. Briefly, of particular interest is the main theme of No.2 (Andantino) with its exotic tonal color. The melody from the middle section of No.3 (Presto) is delightful and a melody which one will not soon forget is the lyrical Brahmsian theme of No.5 (Allegretto con grazia). The fine tonal qualities and charming rhythms of these intermezzi are indeed praiseworthy."
The Intermezzi have been out of print for more than half a century and we are pleased to reintroduce an attractive early modern work which should appeal to professionals and amateurs alike.