String Quartet No.7 in B flat Major, Op. Post.
Lachner wrote his Seventh String Quartet the year before he died at the age of 87. It was quite near the turn of the 20th century, but Lachner was no late-romantic and he had no desire to be one. After completing the work, he summed up his style: " To the very end, I have been true to the classical composers of Vienna I admired so much." He continually maintained that his goal was to write with the clarity and transparency typified by Mozart and Haydn, combined with the lilting beauty of Schubert. To hear his works, it is clear that in this he succeeded. His place in music is as a "Classicist-Romantic". His quartets achieved considerable popularity in their time by virtue of their fetching melodies, effective harmonies and the ease with which they could be performed.
Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895) was the second of the three famous Lachner brothers. Ignaz was taught (as were the others) organ, piano and violin. Upon the latter instrument, he was somewhat of a prodigy. He eventually joined his older brother Franz in Vienna where he became a close friend of Schubert's and fell under the influence of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He composed a considerable amount of music, much of it chamber music, including seven string quartets.
The opening movement Allegro moderato begins quietly with a melody which brings Mozart's Clarinet Quintet to mind. The lyrical second theme is punctuated by dramatic episodes. The second movement is a charming Haydnesque Menuetto. In the trio section, the viola is given a chance to shine with a fetching lšndler. Next comes a Romanze. It is an engaging intermezzo. Mendelssohn could not have written it any better. The middle section has a march-like quality. The finale, Allegro, is a very classical 6/8 rondo.
String Quartet No.7 was printed in 1896, the year after Lachner died, and hence became known as the Op. Post. We have reprinted the first edition with some minor corrections. We believe that it makes an excellent choice on a concert program where an alternative to Mozart, Haydn or Schubert is desired. At the same time, amateurs are sure to enjoy playing it.