Charles Martin Loeffler

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String Quartet in a minor

World Premier Edition

Loeffler's String Quartet in a minor was hailed by The Chamber Music Journal as a very worthwhile, solid work. It is one of his earliest completed compositions. Loeffler worked on and completed it in 1889 while on summer vacation from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Although the Quartet displays a variety of styles, the work does not reflect the harmonic influence of French Impressionism. which colors his later compositions. Another aspect of the Quartet is the clear formal structure of the movements. The first movement, Allegro moderato, is composed in sonata form. The second movement, Tempo di minuetto, is notable his cannoic treatment of the theme. In the third movement, marked Andante assai, con quasi variazioni, Loeffler instructs the performers to play the music in the style of a mediaeval folk song. The theme is followed by five variations. The finale, Allegro, rondo pastorale, is upbeat and genial with a Russian sounding coda which recalls Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Ludmilla.


Charles Martin Loeffler, (1861-1935), though he himself claimed to have been born in the French city of Mulhouse in the province of Alsace, was actually born in Berlin (his original name was Martin Karl Loeffler) into a Prussian family. Furthermore, although, much of his music shows the influence of French impressionism, of which he was much enamored, his training was entirely German. In Berlin, he studied violin with Joseph Joachim and composition with Friedrich Kiel and Woldemar Bargiel at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik. He emmigrated 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.


The Quartet lay in manuscript form until the members of the Da Vinci String Quartet undertook to record the work and to create a performance edition which is now published for the first time. Our soundbites came from their recording. We gratefully acknowledge their help as well as that of Dr. Michael Nieland and Mr. Brandon Vaccaro.


Parts: $29.95


       Parts & Score $36.95




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