String Quartet No.1 in g minor, Op.33
Benjamin Godard (1849-95) was born in Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire composition with Reber and violin with Henri Vieuxtemps. He was somewhat of a prodigy on that instrument, as well as on the viola, and accompanied Vieuxtemps to Germany on concert tours on two occasions. Godard enjoyed chamber music and played in several performing ensembles. This experience stood him good stead when it came to writing effective chamber music compositions. In 1878, Godard was the co-winner with Théodore Dubois, head of the Paris Conservatory, of a musical competition instituted by the city of Paris. He composed music with great facility and from 1878 to the time until his death Godard composed a surprisingly large number of works, including the opera Jocelyn, from which the famous "Berceuse" has become perhaps his best known work. He also composed several symphonic works, ballets, concertos, overtures and chamber music, including three string quartets and two piano trios.
Writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players, the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann has this to say about Godard’s String Quartet No.1
“Godard’s First String Quartet dates from 1882 and demonstrates the composer not only has total command of quartet movement technique but also knows how to write a good fugue. The spirited, lyrical theme of the energetic first movement, Allegro, is highly appealing. The unusually harmonic twists and tonal effects are particularly effective. The second movement, Andantino, is a very pleasing theme and set of variations. A short playful pizzicato introduction introduces precedes the charming theme. A short, gorgeous Andante quasi adagio is a lovely song without words. The finale consists of a bustling and quite effective Allegro. Amateurs will certainly enjoy this richly melodic quartet which is strong enough for the concert hall where it is sure to win friends.”
Out of print for many years, we have taken the only edition and corrected several errors. We are pleased to make it available once again.