Franz Xaver Gebel

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String Quintet No.6 in E flat Major, Op.25

For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos or Cello and Bass

Franz Xaver Gebel (1787-1843) was born in the Silesian town of Furstenau not far from the provincial capital of Breslau. Not a great deal is known about his life prior to his emigration to Moscow in 1817, where he spent the rest of his life. It is known, however, that prior to this, he had studied composition with the Abbe Vogler and Johann Albrechtsberger in Vienna, It is also known that he served as a director of prominent theaters in Vienna and Lemberg before to departing for Moscow, where he was lured by the promise of a high paying job. By this time, he had already composed several operas, some string quartets and works for winds. In Moscow, Gebel worked as a teacher as well as an orchestra director. Among his many students was Nicolai Rubinstein. During his Moscow years, he composed four symphonies, operas, many songs, several string quartets and eight string quintets, all for two violins, viola and two cellos. In Russia, he made a considerable name for himself and his works were respected and often performed. Borodin praised and was particularly fond of the string quintets, often playing the second cello parts. Glinka also praised Gebelís chamber music as did the famous violinist Heinrich Ernst.


The quintets were thought to be composed between 1830 and 1842. The first movement, Allegro con brio, of String Quintet No.6 begins with a buoyant and appealing lyrical melody which is passed from voice to voice. A second theme, also lyrical, has a vocal quality typical of Italian opera of the time. The second movement is a lively Scherzo, characterized by its heavily accented rhythms and forward motion, while the theme of the trio is calmer and expresses a sense of yearning. The main theme to the Adagio which comes next takes rather a long time to unfold, hesitant and mysterious. One hears the influence of Beethoven. The pleasing finale, Allegro, opens in boisterous fashion. The music is light and airy having an almost Mozartean quality to it.


The string quintets were published C.L. Lehnhold in Moscow and Tobias Haslinger in Vienna in 1842. Our edition is based on the original by Lehnhold, but we have added rehearsal numbers and corrected errors. This quintet is another very worthwhileaddition to the repertoire of quintets for two cellos or cello and bass.


(A) 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos-Parts $29.95
(B) 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass-Parts $29.95
(C) All Six Parts $36.95


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