Emil von Reznicek
Soundbites courtesy of
String Quartet No.3 in d minor
“I very strongly recommend Emil von Reznicek's String Quartet No.3 in d minor, published in 1923, both for concert performance and for amateurs to play at home. This work is extremely well put together, superb tonally, offering Schubertian melodies mixed with Hungarian episodes. From the first bars of the opening movement, Moderato, the listener is immediately won over. The second theme, beautifully treated, recalls the Father's Song 'Good Sweepers, buy broomsticks' from Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel. The Adagio creates a mood of wonderful calm but seamless tempi changes interrupt from time to time. Next comes a Molto moderato quasi andante which is an updated rococo Intermezzo and full of good spirits. The work is crowned by a outstanding and highly effective finale, Allegro, in which all four players take an equal part in presenting the lively and spirited themes. This quartet combines modern developments with classical form. ”---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 fine work has been unavailable for many years and it is a pleasure to reintroduce it.