String Quartet No.3 in E flat Major, Op.15
"One is sure to get much pleasure from Witold Maliszewski's beautifully written and always interesting three string quartets which present no great technical difficulties and in which all of the parts are grateful to play. Witold Maliszewski's String Quartet No.3 in E flat Major, Op.15 appeared in 1914. It differs from conventional form in that it is only in three movement and the first movement, written on a large scale, is a theme and set of nine variations which is preceded by a lengthy Lento introduction. These variations are not only skillful but also captivating and show that Maliszewski, like so many of his fellow countrymen, is a master of this form. The second movement, though marked Andante tranquillo, quickly becomes quite lively and even agitated. The finale begins with a short Allegretto introduction which leads to an Allegro ma non troppo which provides a sharp contrast and appeals by virtue of its fine workmanship."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Witold Maliszewski (1873-1939) was born in the town of Mohyliv-Podilskyi, then part of Russian Poland now located in Ukraine. His initial studies were at the Imperial Conservatory in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) with Mikhail Ivanov-Ippolitov. He then attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. In 1908, he obtained the position of conductor of the Odessa Symphony Orchestra. He was active in Odessa until 1920 and was a founder and first director of the Odessa Conservatory. Due to the Russian Revolution, he moved to Warsaw in 1920 where he held several positions, including Professor of Composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. He composed in most genres and his chamber music was held in particularly high regard, winning several competition prizes.
Here is a very appealing work from the Russian Romantic school. It has been out of print for nearly a century. Certainly it should not be missed by amateurs but professionals can count on it being a success in the concert hall where it is sure to be well received.