String Quartet No.4 in a minor, Op.18 No.2
Bernhard Molique (1802-1869) was born in the German city of Nuremberg. After studying with his father, Molique took lessons from Louis Spohr and Pietro Rovelli. After pursing a career as a touring virtuoso for several years, Molique accepted the position of Music Director to the Royal Court in Stuttgart. He also taught for several years in London at the Royal Academy of Music.
As a composer, he was largely self taught. His music shows the influence of Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Spohr. Remembered now only for his violin concertos, he wrote a considerable amount of chamber music including eight string quartets. His Fourth String Quartet, Op.18 No.2, is the second of a set of three which he completed in 1834. The opening Allegro begins with a flowing melody which quickly becomes a dramatic dialogue between the first violin and cello. The thematic material alternates between a carefree and na´ve mood to episodes of turbulence. A reflective and highly ornamented Andante comes next. Here, Molique pays close attention to the construction and inner exchanges between the voices. The third movement, though marked Menuetto, is actually a somewhat nervous Mendelssohnian scherzo. The hard driving finale, Vivace, bursts forth with tremendous forward energy and generates considerable excitement.
Out of print for more than 150 years, we are pleased to make it available where it should be of interest to both professionals and amateurs looking for a fresh work from the early Romantic era.