Richard von Perger
String Quartet No.1 in g minor, Op.8
Richard von Perger's String Quartet No.1 in g minor dates from 1885 and was published the following year. It was dedicated to his friend and teacher Johannes Brahms, and one can be sure that Brahms would not have accepted the dedication if he had not thought the work worthy of his name. The opening movement, Allegro moderato, poco piu tranquillo, has a searching quality and a sense of yearning. It is followed by an upbeat, canonic fugue. The second movement, Allegro giocoso, is a bouncing, raucous scherzo with a wistful middle section which provides excellent contrast. The Andante con moto, ma tranquillo, which comes next, is a theme and set of four interesting variations. The finale, Vivace non troppo, begins with a bang, two loud chords, before it takes off on an exciting romp.
Richard von Perger (1854-1911) was born in the Austrian city of Graz. He studied composition in Vienna with several teachers, including Brahms, whose influence can often be felt in his music. His career was divided between composing, conducting and teaching. He served as director of the Rotterdam Conservatory and later the Vienna Conservatory as well as the Wiener Singverein(Vienna Choral Society) and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. He wrote in most genres and his chamber music, in particular, was held in high regard.
This quartet exhibits the compositional mastery that Perger had at his command. Within the framework of the mid-late Romantic era, one hears that the ideas are not only original to the composer but also executed in an assured manner. Public performance would be a certain success and the quartet is well within the reach of amateurs. Out of print for more than a century, we are pleased to make it available once again.