Emil von Reznicek
String Quartet No.2 in c sharp minor
“Emil von Reznicek's String Quartet No.2 which dates from 1921 is clearly the rich work of a master. The first movement, Allegro, begins with an robust theme which is developed through different meters and fugal treatment. A second subject is more lyrical and there is also a piquant third theme. The second movement, Andante mosso, begins mysteriously but gradually becomes more lyrical and charming. There is a fine contrasting middle section. A spirited scherzo, Allegretto, with lovely tonalities follows. The finale, Moderato, is built on a magnificent structure and features appealing melodies and rhythmic treatment.”---Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players
Emil von von Reznicek (1860-1945) was born in Vienna. He studied law and music simultaneously in Graz and pursued a career as a conductor at various opera theaters, including Graz and Berlin. Reznicek became known for parodying famous music by other composers. For example, his tone poem Schlemihl (a bungling loser) is a parody of Strauss' Ein Heldenleben. Today, Reznicek is remembered mainly for the overture to his opera Donna Diana. But the quality of his music was first rate. He and his music fell into neglect along with so many other fine composers from the Romantic era after the First World War and awaits rediscovery.
This Quartet clearly belongs in the concert hall where it is sure to make a strong impression but experienced amateurs will also find much to their taste in the outstanding work.