Piano Quintet No.2 in G Major "Divertimento", Op.125
Hans Huber's Piano Quintet No.2 was completed in 1907. He titled it 'Divertimento' to make it clear that it was to be of a lighter nature. But this is not the old-fashioned Divertimento of Mozart's day which was often intended as background music to be played at parties or other gatherings. This is an imaginative work clearly intended for the concert hall. The opening movement, titled Quasi fantasia, begins with the cello stating the lovely main theme. As the others join in the music quickly builds to a dramatic climax and then slides away to further development. The second movement, marked Tema con variazione, begins Adagio but there the several finely contrasting and original sounding variations present many tempo and mood changes. The third movement, titled Intermezzo, is in actuality a frenetic scherzo. The finale, Huber titled Rhapsodie. It is begins in energetic fashion with a pounding theme full of foward melody and elan.
Hans Huber (1852-1921) was born in the Swiss town of Eppenberg. Between 1870-74, he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Carl Reinecke and Ernst Richter. After graduating he held a number of positions before being appointed a professor at the Basel Conservatory, where he served as director between 1889-1917. Huber’s music was firmly rooted in the Romantic movement inspired at first by Schumann and Brahms and then later by Liszt and Richard Strauss. He was widely considered Switzerland’s leading composer during the last quarter of the 19th and first decade of the 20th century. He composed in virtually every genre and many of his works were for long years part of various repertoires and the only works by a Swiss composer that were regularly performed outside of Switzerland.
Although acknowledged as a composer of the first rank, as a Swiss, his music made little headway outside of Switzerland. Had he been German or Austrian, he would certainly have been much better known. This work along with so many others of his is the equal of some of the best known piano quintets and truly deserves to be heard in concert and to sit on the stands of amateurs. Long out of print,, we are pleased to make it available once again.