String Sextet in g minor, Op.178
"Raff's Sextet was composed in 1872. It is a work which chamber music players have and will always enjoy playing."---Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players
During the last ten years of his life and for the three decades following it, Joachim Raff (1822-1882) was regularly mentioned in the same breath as Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms as one of Germany's leading composers. The experts and the public judged him to be the equal to such past masters as Mendelssohn, Schumann and Tchaikovsky. Incredibly, by the 1920's his music had all but disappeared from the concert stage. It seems virtually unimaginable that a composer whose talent was recognized and whose music was admired by Mendelssohn and Liszt, could become a mere footnote, yet this is what became of Raff and his music for most of the 20th century. Only now is he being rediscovered to the delight of those fortunate enough to hear his music.
The Sextet provides an interesting contrast to the those written by Brahms which are heavier and more densely scored. Raff's writing presents a lighter touch with more transparency. The first movement, Allegro, begins softly but in a dramatic fashion with storm clouds threatening. The whirling accompaniment played softly in the background, gives the music a restless sense of forward motion. The second theme is lyrical and sunny. It is developed briefly into a march before the return of the main theme. The exciting second movement, Allegro molto, is a lightening fast and furious tarantella. The lower voices give the music a thrusting power. The brief trio section could not be more different. A strumming guitar-like, pizzicato accompaniment provides the perfect backdrop for the bright and beautiful melody. Next comes a Larghetto, which is a theme and several variation. The finale, also an Allegro, is characterized by its drumbeat rhythm. Raff uses a canon to present the Mendelssohnian main theme. It is light and fleet. Respite comes in the beautiful middle section with a duet between the first violin and cello.
The original edition of the Sextet has long been unavailable and a newer edition is so prohibitively expensive as to discourage anyone from buying it. We have reprinted the original edition and offer it at a very modest price in hopes that both professionals and amateurs will add this fine work to their libraries.
In addition, we are pleased to offer this Sextet in a version for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello and Bass. Our bass part was made by Anthony Scelba, noted bass soloist, Professor of Music and Director of the Concert Artists Program of Kean University. In an effort to give bass players a chance to play many of the great works of the chamber music repertoire, Professor Scelba has made several highly acclaimed transcriptions, including one for the Schubert Quintet D.956, which has been recorded.
|(A) 2 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos-Parts||$39.95|
|(B) 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass-Parts||$39.95|
|(C) All Seven Parts||$46.95|