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Friedrich Gernsheim

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String Quartet No.3 in F Major, Op.51

"Friedrich Gernsheim's Third String Quartet was composed in 1885. In form, it might well be called a Phantasy Quartet. The lyrical main theme to the first movement, Allegro, is emotionally charged. The second movement, though marked Allegro scherzando, is in reality a very beautiful, rich Intermezzo. The lively trio section is actually quicker in tempo than the main part. The the slow movements to Schumann's Op.41 No.1 and 3 may well have served as models for Gernsheim's own slow movement, Andante molto cantabile. A very artistic Theme and Variations serves as the quartet's finale."---Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players

 

Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) is a composer whose music was held in the highest regard by his colleagues and critics during his lifetime. Brahms and Max Bruch to name but two shared Altmann's high regard. But Gernsheim had two misfortunes, which led to his music not obtaining the reputation it might have. The first was to be born within a decade of Brahms. A misfortune because, in what is surely an extraordinary phenomenon, virtually every composer in the German-speaking countries born within a decade either side of Brahms were so eclipsed by him that their reputation and their music all but disappeared when that era was over. Names such as Rheinberger, Reinecke, Kiel, Bruch, Dessoff, and Herzogenberg, among many others, come to mind. His second misfortune was that being Jewish, his music was officially banned during the Nazi era, which insured that it would fall into oblivion. It is only now, close to a century after his death that it is being rediscovered with great delight.

 

Gernsheim, somewhat of a piano and violin virtuoso as a child, was eventually educated at the famous Leipzig Conservatory where he studied piano with Ignaz Moscheles and violin with Ferdinand David. After graduating, he continued his studies in Paris, getting to know Saint SaŽns, Lalo, Liszt and Rossini. Despite his admiration for France and the French, he returned to Germany and during the course of his life, he held academic and conducting positions in Cologne, Rotterdam and finally Berlin.

 

We have reprinted the first and only edition, adding rehearsal letters and correcting several mistakes. This quartet, like his other four, all deserves your serious consideration. We believe you will not be disappointed.

 

Parts: $24.95

    

Parts & Score: $31.95

              

 

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