String Quartet in g minor
"Koessler's String Quartet is a highly effective work in the concert hall, but amateurs will also enjoy this eminently playable quartet."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Hans Koessler (1853-1926) is a master composer who wrote some of the most outstanding music that you have never heard. Koessler was born in the town of Waldbeck in Upper Bavaria. He studied organ and composition with Joseph Rheinberger in Munich, holding a number of positions in Germany before moving to Hungary to become Professor of Organ, Composition and Choral direction at the Music Academy of Budapest in the early 1880's. He stayed there until his retirement in 1908. Bartok, Kodaly, Dohnanyi, Leo Weiner and Imre Kalman were all among his many students and he was widely regarded as the finest teacher of composition in Austria-Hungary during the 1890's and the first part of the 20th century
Altmann goes on to describe the quartet as follows:
"Koessler told me that he tried in this work to describe his feelings of leaving his home for a new life and position in Hungary. The first movement, Allegro moderato expresses the struggle between his affection for his German homeland and the lure of Budapest. The second movement, Adagio, brings forth the sadness he felt leaving family and friends behind, while the excitement and whirl of his new life is given vent in the Scherzo which follows. Shortly before the trio section, a dramatic recitative in the cello recalls what he has left behind. The finale is a set of fine variations. In it, again we find expressed his attraction to Hungary with its tinges of gypsy music here and there." (Our soundbite to the finale only presents a few of the variations)
Although the Quartet was published in 1902, it was composed two decades before. This is the only edition, which has been unavailable for more than half a century. We have corrected a few mistakes and have added rehearsal letters which the original is lacking. As Altmann writes, this is an excellent late romantic quartet, deserving of concert performance but also an attractive addition to the libraries of amateurs.
Parts & Score: $31.95