String Quartet No.3 in c minor, Op.74
"Particular attention should be drawn to the string quartets of Hugo Kaun...String Quartet No.3 in c minor, Op.74 shows the composer's serious side. The construction of the movements and the development of the subjects are alike admirable, while the music itself hold one's attention throughout. The first movement, Sehr lebhaft, energisch (very lively, energetic) is dramatically conceived and would not be out of place in a symphony. The slow movement, Sehr ruhig, innig (very quiet, deeply felt), has a very expressive main subject and a kind of funeral march. The return of the main subject is marked by agitation in the accompaniment, but a short coda brings the movement to a clear and quiet ending. In the slow Minuet, the old form and the modern spirit are happily combined. In the finale, which is in C Major, Kaun's ingenuity appears at its best in variations on a simple and very appealing theme."---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Hugo Kaun (1863-1932) was born in Berlin and received his musical education there, studying composition with Friedrich Kiel at the Royal Prussian Academy of Music. In 1887, he moved to the United States and settled in the city of Milwaukee where he lived for 13 years. Milwaukee had a large German-American population and Kaun taught at the Milwaukee Conservatory. He acquired quite a reputation as a composer as several of his works were premiered by the Chicago Symphony under the direction of his friend Theodore Thomas who had founded the orchestra. He returned to Berlin in 1900, where he remained for the rest of his life, teaching and composing. His style is late romantic and shows the influences of Brahms, Bruckner and Wagner. He wrote a fair amount of chamber music, including 4 string quartets, a string quintet, an octet, two piano trios and a piano quintet. His third string quartet dates from 1907.
This is a very engaging, late romantic, early modern workfine work. It belongs in the concert hall but is not beyond the realm of experienced amateur players. Long out of print, we are very pleased to make it available once again.