String Quintet in D Major, Op.3
For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos
"Witold Maliszewski’s String Quintet in d minor, Op.3 for two violins, viola and two cellos appeared in 1904. This quintet is sure to be of interest with its beautiful melodic ideas, which are cleverly and artistically presented. The composer shows a fine feeling for creating gorgeous tonalities and has written grateful parts for each of the instruments which present no great technical difficulties so that it can be warmly recommended for performance even to amateurs. Classical in feel, it is in the middle movements, Andante and Scherzo that the composer uses Russian folk melodies. The main theme of the opening Allegro is genial and appealing while the second charms by virtue of its piquant rhythm. There is an extensive development which despite its length holds the listener’s interest. The second movement, an atmospheric Andante sostenuto, has the feel of a Legende and employs tonal combinations that are of great beauty. If this were not enough, there is a particularly impressive middle section. Next comes a Scherzo which is a fleet Russian folk dance. The lovely and melancholic trio section is a slower Andantino. A magnificent finale, Allegro risoluto, tops off this excellent quintet. The splendid main subject is powerful and full of forward energy. A canonic second theme is noteworthy for its unusual rhythm and is followed by a broad, aristocratic lyrical melody.”—–the famous critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.
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 Ippolitov-Ivanov. 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 top notch string quintet 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.
Parts & Score: $38.95