Paul Juon

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Piano Quintet No.1 in d minor, Op.33

For Violin, 2 Violas, Cello & Piano or

 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Piano

“Paul Juon's Piano Quintet No.1 in d minor, Op.33 is a masterly work of the first order. It dates from 1906, and like several other of his chamber works, exists in two versions. Besides the original version for violin, two violas, cello and piano, the composer also made a version for two violins, viola, cello and piano, possibly at the publishers request since the original combination is seldomly used. The main theme to the large scale opening movement, Moderato quasi andante, consists of an expansive melodic line played calmly by the muted violin. Its ponderous, downwards gliding motion is contrasted with a dynamic, upwardly striving second theme. The second movement is a vocal, cantabile Molto adagio. A faster middle section consists of a fugue for all five voices. The third movement, Quasi valse, takes the place of a scherzo and begins with the piano playing knocking note repetitions which sound somewhat wooden. The music gains momentum, color and sonority with the entrance of the strings. The main theme to the final movement, Allegro non troppo, is based on a Russian folk song, Spin, my spinning girl, found in Tchaikovsky's collection of Russian folksongs for piano duet. It is followed by a passionate second melody."---The Chamber Music Journal.


Paul Juon (1872-1940) was the son of Swiss parents who emigrated to Moscow where he was born. Educated at the Moscow German High School, he entered the Moscow Conservatory where he studied violin with Jan Hrimaly and composition with Anton Arensky and Sergei Taneyev. After graduating, he went to Berlin for further composition instruction from Woldemar Bargiel . In 1906, after holding various posts in Russia, Juon was invited by Joseph Joachim, head of the prestigious Berlin Hochschule für Musik, to be a Professor of Composition. It was a post he held until 1934 at which time he moved to Switzerland, where lived for the rest of his life. He is often called the link between Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.  In his early music, one can hear the influence of his Russian homeland and schooling. His second period is more cosmopolitan and is in tune with the contemporary Central European trends of the early 20th century. Ultimately, it is hard to characterize his music as Russian or German, Romantic, Modern or Folkloric, because one can find all of these elements in his music. Juon was widely regarded as an important composer and his works were given frequent performance throughout Europe during his lifetime. Chamber music plays a large part of his total output which numbers more than 100 works.


This is a work of great originality, which does not sound like anyone else. Certainly well worth playing both in concert and at home. Unavailable for many years now, we are pleased to present it once again.


(A) Violin, 2 Violas,  Cello & Piano-Parts $39.95
(B) 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Piano-Parts $39.95
(C) All Seven Parts $53.95



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