Soundbites courtesy of
String Octet in C Major, Op.12
Hermann Grädener (1844-1929) was born in northern German city of Kiel. His father Karl was also a composer and teacher. In 1862, Hermann entered the Vienna Conservatory where he studied composition and violin. He worked for a number of years as a violinist in the Court Orchestra and gained a reputation as a respected composer and teacher, eventually holding a professorship at the Vienna Conservatory. He also served for a number of years as the director of the famed Vienna Singakademie. The important chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Chamber Music Handbook has this to day about the Octet:
"Those wishing to showcase Hermann Grädener’s considerable creative talents should either perform in the concert hall or at home, his Op.12 Octet, dating from 1881. Although it is symphonic in nature, it does not abandon true chamber music style. The magnificent melody of the main theme to the first movement, Allegro moderato, immediately captivates the listener. There is a beautiful tenderness to the lyrical theme which is followed by a very appealing second subject and then a very interesting development. The second movement, Allegro non troppo, is more in the nature of an intermezzo than a scherzo with its harmonic changes and original rhythms The second theme is particularly fetching. Next comes a theme and set of variations, Lento. The deeply felt theme is based on a sentimental folk melody. Here, the composer makes exceptionally fine and telling use of pizzicato. The tender second variation is extraordinarily well done and is followed by a wonderfully contrasting third variation. The opening theme to the finale, Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco, is the equal of the magnificent main theme of the first movement. This highly energetic subject is complimented by choral-like theme which provides a very effective contrast.”
Long out of print, the Octet is a valuable addition to the limited octet repertoire and will certain to give pleasure to players and listeners alike.
Parts & Score: $74.95