Joachim Raff

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String Quartet No.2 in A Major, Op.90

"Raff's String Quartet No.2 was composed in 1862. "This is a very good work. The first movement, Rasch, jedoch ruhig (quick but calm) with its beautiful melodies at times recalls the music of Richard Wagner. The second movement, Rasch (quick) is a particularly fine scherzo with several original touches such as the trills and harmonics in the second violin accompaniment. The whole things is quite piquant and amusing. Next comes a slow movement, Langsam, doch nicht schleppend (slow but not dragging). Here, we have a simple yet promising theme which delivers on the passion that it promises. The finale, Rasch (quick) is clever is full of forward motion and good spirits. It creates a pleasing effect." ---Albert Tottmann writing in his Guide to the String Chamber Literature


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.

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