String Quartet No.4, Op.67
Paul Juon's String Quartet No.4, Op.67, sometimes listed as being in C Major and less often in d minor though it is in neither key, was completed around 1916. Unlike his previous quartets, it is neither Russian sounding nor late Romantic. While remaining tonal, the quartet clearly demonstrates that Juon, while rejecting atonalism, had nonetheless moved on and had assimilated many developments of the post romantic tonal era. The Quartet was dedicated to Carl Wendling, concertmaster of the Stuttgart Philharmonic and leader of a then well-known string quartet bearing his name. The four movements, Allegro, Andante, Allegretto and Allegro non troppo e ben marcato are full of drama and at times violent, perhaps reflecting the turmoil of the First World War then in its third year, but also not without tender and searching moments.
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. Most of his career was spent at the prestigious Berlin Hochschule für Musik where he served as a Professor of Composition. 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. 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 valuable work work from the post romantic era which while expanding the borders traditional tonality, does not eschew tonality. Unavailable for many years now, we are pleased to present it once again.