Joseph Rheinberger

Rheinberger, Joseph Gabriel

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Piano Quintet in C Major, Op.114

"Rheinberger's Piano Quintet in C Major, Op.114 was composed in 1878. The mood to the opening Allegro is good-humored and jovial. Both the relaxed tempo and the main theme theme, which is pregnant with possibilities, seem to show some of Brahmsí influence. The strings are used in several different ways and not just massed against the piano. In the highly emotional Adagio, the spaciousness of the structure is emphasized by the very long melodic lines in the string parts. The end has an ethereal quality. The following Scherzo shows considerable originality. It is fresh, clever, ingenious and very effective. The opening theme is heavily syncopated theme and begins in an exciting fashion. The mood changes unexpectedly as the development suddenly becomes relaxed and bright. The lovely trio consists of a four part canon in the strings and is all sunshine. In the very original finale, Rhapsodie: Non troppo mosso, the cello is given the lead and introduces each theme. The development very ingeniously leads to the return of the first theme which then rushes forward to a triumphant coda."---The Chamber Music Journal


Remembered today only for his organ compositions which are considered the most important ever written after those of Bach, Rheinberger, during his life time, was a much respected composer, generally ranked after Brahms and Wagner as the most important living German composer. Furthermore, he was also widely regarded as the leading teacher of composition during most of his lifetime. Among his many students were Humperdinck, Wolf-Ferrari, George Chadwick (whose quartets we are publishing) and Wilhelm Furtwangler.


Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) was born in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. At the age of 5, young Joseph was given piano and organ lessons from a local teacher. His talent was immediately discovered and was of such a substantial nature that with the help of a scholarship he was sent to the Royal Conservatory in Munich where he studied with Franz Lachner, one of Schubertís close friends and an important composer in his own right.  Rheinberger, who remained in Munich for the rest of his life, was in great demand as an organist and choral master. He eventually became conductor of the important Munich Choral Society and served as voice coach at the Royal Opera where he got to know Wagner. He also taught at the Royal Conservatory where he held the position of Professor of Composition for nearly 40 years.


We have reprinted the original edition and hope that both amateurs and professionals will consider adding this fine work to their libraries.


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