of Steve Jones
Divertimento for String Quartet
"Bernhard Sekles' first work for string quartet appeared in 1911 as his Op.20. He gave it the title 'Divertimento' to indicated that it was not a work intended to rise to the heights or plumb the depths as a work entitled 'String Quartet' might be expected to do. Nonetheless, what we have here is a very musical work in four tightly written movements, full of high spirits, quite effective and magnificent in performance. The first movement, Allegro scherzando, is dominated by its rhythms which give the thematic material a kind of grotesque humor. It is followed by an Allegretto capriccioso with some very original harmony. Next comes an impressive Theme and set of spirited Variations. The theme is based on a folk melody. The work is topped off by a fleet finale, Allegro."---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Bernhard Sekles (1872-1934) was born in the then German city of Frankfurt am Main. Although his musical talent showed itself early, his parents did not want him to become a musician. It was only upon the intervention of the well-known Frankfurt composer Wilhelm Hill (some of whose works we publish) that Sekles was allowed to attend the Frankfurt Hochschule fur Musik where he studied with Ivan Knorr. Sekles enjoyed a career as a teacher both in his native Frankfurt and in Mainz, eventually becoming director of the Frankfurt Hochschule.
Unavailable for more than half a century, we are pleased to reintroduce this fine work which truly deserves to be heard on the concert stage as well as to take a place on the stands of amateur players.
Parts & Score: $31.95