Max von Schillings
String Quartet in e minor
Max von Schillings (1868-1933) in the German town of Duren. He attended the Conservatory in Cologne. After graduating, he worked primarily as a teacher, composer and theater director. He was primarily known as a composer of opera and is remembered today for his opera Mona Lisa which achieved world-wide fame before the First World War. He wrote two a chamber works, this quartet and a string quintet.
The String Quartet in e minor was composed in 1887. Of it, the highly respected chamber music scholar and critic Wilhelm Altmann writes:
"Its intellectual maturity together with its perfect form and beauty of sound have made him many friends. The lofty serenity and clear thematic style of his later period is already discernible, notably in the theme of the introduction to the lively first movement, which is charmingly written in true quartet style. One hears it again toward the close of the finale and again in the expressive slow movement. A particularly happy and melodically inspired thought dominates the agitated middle section. The third movement is strongly rhythmical. The middle section has a noble theme accompanied by pizzicato in the cello which heightens its charm. The passionate finale is particularly admirable for the treatment of its themes.
Long out of print, this is a first rate late romantic quartet which should be of interest to professionals and amateurs alike.