August Klughardt

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String Quintet in g minor, Op.62

For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos

August Klughardt (1847-1902) was born in the German town of Köthen in Saxon-Anhalt. After studying music locally, Klughardt began to earn his living by conducting. He served in several locales, including Weimar where he worked from 1869 to 1873. There, he met Franz Liszt, which was very important for his creative development. While influenced by Wagner and Liszt, Klughardt did not by any means entirely adopt the ideology of their New German School, refusing to write tone poems and instead concentrating on symphonies and chamber music. The influence of Robert Schumann, and to a lesser extent Brahms, certainly is equally important. It was his failure to whole-heartedly adopt Lisztian principals which led to his being labeled as a conservative composer.


Klughardt received considerable recognition as composer and won many distinctions, but today, sadly, his music, with the exception of one or two pieces, is entirely forgotten. Writing of Klughardt's String Quintet in his Chamber Music Handbook, the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann has this to say:


"Although Klughardt's music, in his time, excited considerable interest, he has now joined the ranks of the forgotten composers of the past--a fate he in no way deserves as his Op.62 String Quintet, composed in around 1890, clearly proves. This is not only an outstandingly well-written piece, it also sounds good and attracts one by the strength of its invention. And it is in no way beyond experienced amateur players. The outer movements show a strong Hungarian or Gypsy influence. The first movement, Moderato, begins with a short fanfare which immediately leads to a Hungarian cadenza in the first violin. The somewhat elegiac main theme is especially beautiful. The second subject reflects Hungarian tonal colors. The whole movement could perhaps be styled a tribute to Brahms. The second movement, Andante, is a set of effective variations on a very simple but lovely theme. The third movement, Allegro moderato, is a distant relative of the minuet. The main theme recalls a similar movement in Brahms' Op.51 No.2 string quartet. Of great interest is the trio section, a canonic episode between the first cello and the first violin. The finale, Allegro vivace, immediately flashes its Hungarian tonal color. This and the magnificent second subject make it every bit as effective as the Hungarian finale to Brahms' Op.25 Piano Quartet. A fiery coda, which recalls the opening movement, brings the work to a close."


In addition, we are pleased to offer this Quintet in a version for 2 Violins, Violas, Cello and Bass. Our bass part was made by Anthony Scelba, noted bass soloist, Professor of Music and Director of the Concert Artists Program of Kean University. Professor Scelba has created an idiomatic bass part that adds breadth and clarity to the timbral spectrum of the work, making it a welcome addition to the double bass chamber music repertoire.


Out of print since the First World War, we are pleased to reintroduce a work which should be a valuable addition to the scanty repertoire of string quintets for two cellos.


(A) 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos-Parts $29.95
(B) 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass-Parts $29.95
(C) All Six Parts $36.95



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