Piano Quartet in e minor
August Söderman (1832-1876) was born in Stockholm and studied composition, violin and oboe at the conservatory there. A scholarship enabled him to study at the Leipzig Conservatory with Hans Richter after graduating from Swedish conservatory. The teachers at the Leipzig Conservatory during this period were heavily influenced by its founder Felix Mendelssohn and also Robert Schumann and Söderman's music show this influence. He is generally regarded as one of Sweden's leading composers from the Romanic period. He pursued a career as a opera conductor and composer in his home town. Virtually all of his music is either for orchestra or for voice in one form or another. His Piano Quartet is his only chamber work.
Söderman's Piano quartet dates from 1856 during his time at Leipzig. It is a highly accomplished work, the equal of the best of other piano quartets from this era. The writing for and integration of the instruments is masterly and the melodies quite fetching. The opening Allegro moderato begins with an evocative piano solo. When the strings join in the mood changes with a series of lovely themes full of charm Söderman subtitled it 'fantasy.' The second movement, Scherzo vivo, starts off movement not anything like a scherzo and does not in the least sound vivo. But then almost inpeceptably the music gradully gains tempo and liveliness and becomes just that. The third movement is a very romantic Andante. The work concludes with a vivrant Allegro. Virtually unavailable since its initial publicaton it disappeared, We are pleased to make it available once again. It is a highly effective work which is suitable both for the concert hall and the stands of amateurs