of Steve Jones
String Quartet No.1 in E flat Major, Op.9
Leo Grill (1846-1919) was born in Budapest. He studied composition at the Royal Bavarian Conservatory with Franz Lachner and subsequently pursued a career as a composer and teacher, eventually becoming a professor of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory where he taught for thirty years. Among his many students was Leos Janacek.
He composed in most genres and has two string quartets to his credit. The famous chamber music critic and scholar Wilhelm Altmann in his Handbook for String Quartet Players writes:
Leo Grill as a student of Franz Lachner and then a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory was influenced, as might be expected, by the music of Mendelssohn and Schumann as well as his own teacher. His gift for invention can be heard in both of his quartets. His first string quartet was published in 1875. The opening movement, Allegro moderato, begins with a beautiful cantilena melody and is followed up by an appealing lyrical second subject. Next comes an Andante con moto quasi allegretto the main section which is in the form of a simple, lovely song and is set off by a dramatic, restless middle section. The third movement, Allegro, is a melodically appealing scherzo with contrasting trio. The finale, Allegro molto vivace, is a fiery tarantella.
Unavailable for more almost a century, we are pleased to reintroduce this appealing quartet which should be of interest to amateurs and professionals alike.