Reinhold Gliere

Glière, Reinhold Moritzewitsch

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String Quartet No.2 in g minor, Op.20

The reputation of Reinhold Gliere (sometimes spelled Glier 1875-1956) today rests primarily upon his symphonies, ballets and operas, however he was also a composer of superb chamber music. Gliere was born in the then Russian city Kiev. He began his musical studies there with the famous violin teacher Otakar Sevcik, among others.  He then went to the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Sergei Taneyev, Anton Arensky and Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. His superb compositional technique was quickly recognized by his teachers and he won several prizes for his early works, including his First String Sextet which took the prestigious Glinka Prize from a jury consisting of Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Liadov.  Gliere, himself, taught at the Moscow and Kiev conservatories for nearly 40 years. Among his many successful students were Khachaturian, Prokofiev and Miaskovsky.


Of  Gliere's chamber music, the respected scholar and critic Professor Sabaneiev wrote:


"His chamber compositions show him to have been an absolute master of form, and a virtuoso in his control of the resources of musical composition and expression...He excelled as a melodist and his themes often reveal the contours of the Russian style which he understood so well. He had a masterly knowledge of the instruments and of their resonance, hence his chamber works are astonishingly rich and well written."


String Quartet No.2 in g minor  Op.20 dates from 1906 and was dedicated to Rimsky Korsakov. And though Gliere never studied with him, the music shows that he had absorbed all of the advances made by Rimsky. Additionally, it is also a tribute to Borodin and his interest in the exotic East. One can clearly hear echoes of Prince Igor as well as Scherezade. Wilhelm Altmann, perhaps the most famous chamber music critic of all, writes of it:


"Gliere's Second String Quartet is to be recommended even more than his noteworthy First Quartet. Its opening movement, Allegro moderato, is interesting both in the way it is constructed and the development of the themes, the second of which is based on a lovely Russian folk melody. The Andante  which follows is very fine quartet writing and highly melodic. (It takes Borodin as its point of departure) The third movement is a very Russian-sounding Scherzo.  The finale, marked Orientale, with its exotic melodies evokes the caravansaries and bazaars of Central Asia."


This quartet represents the epitome of the Russian National School in chamber music as developed over many long years by Rimsky Korsakov and Borodin. It is a massive work that will make an indelible impression upon any audience which has the pleasure of hearing it, and though not particularly easy, is not beyond the range of good amateur players.


(A) Parts (US & Non US Addresses)


(B) Parts & Score US Addresses


(C) Parts & Score NON US Addresses




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