Charles Martin Loeffler
Music for Four Stringed Instruments
(2 Violins,Viola & Cello)
"Loeffler's Music for Four Stringed Instruments dates from 1917. It was clearly meant for string quartet since it was premiered by the famous Flonzaley Quartet. It was a memorial to the son of a close friend killed in the First World War. Themes from the Mass for Easter are used throughout. The first movement, Poco adagio, is punctuated by many stormy episodes and is rarely slow enough to be considered even a little adagio. With tinges of French impressionism, the mood is mostly robust late 19th century New England. The second movement, entitled Le Saint Jour de Pâques (Easter Sunday) was originally a tone poem about the French countryside. The music evokes tonal landscapes but also the mysticism of the church service. The big finale, Moderato, begins in a jaunty fashion. One hears martial melodies evocative of soldiers marching along but then a somber curtain of tone falls. Though not tragic, it is nonetheless fitting for a memorial and certainly this fine work belongs in the concert hall."----The Chamber Music Journal.
Charles Martin Loeffler, (1861-1935) was born in Berlin (his original name was Martin Karl Loeffler.) He studied violin with Joseph Joachim and composition with Friedrich Kiel and Woldemar Bargiel. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1882 and served for many years as assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony. By the time of his death, he was considered one of America’s most important composers.