"Nur Tropfen" 7 Miniatures for String Quartet
'Nur Tropfen'---in English 'Mere Drops'---published shortly before Kirchner's death in 1903, appeared with the subtitle 'Ganz kleine stücke'---'Very tiny pieces'. They are, in essence, a suite of seven miniatures, each with its own character. Short and charming, not surprisingly, they are superbly crafted as Theodor Kirchner (1823-1903) was widely considered to be the undisputed master of the character piece, a short kind of free form work. Kirchner literally wrote hundreds of such pieces which can rightly be considered little gems, little masterpieces.
He was born in the town of Neukirchen near Chemnitz in the German province of Saxony and showed a prodigious musical talent at an early age. Schumann and Mendelssohn persuades his reluctant father to send Theodor to the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied with Mendelssohn, among others. He was a friend of both Robert and Clara Schumann as well as Brahms.
Kirchner’s compositional talent was widely respected and held in the highest regard by Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner and many others. But Kirchner, found himself unable to write large scale works. Rather, he excelled at writing miniatures. He would often write several at a time and then publish them together, each with a different mood and feel and each perfect in its own way. Though primarily known, during his lifetime, as an organist, pianist and teacher, he wrote more than 1,000 works, most are short and for the piano, although he did write a small amount of very appealing chamber music.
Though published in 1903, it is thought that Kirchner composed the suite sometime in the 1880's. Each of these wonderful little works makes a superb encore and together, performed as a suite, a very appealing program choice.
Parts & Score: $19.95