Piano Quartet in A Major, Op.1
“Hugo Staehle did not live to see the publication of his Piano Quartet in A Major, Op.1, which came out in 1849, the year after his death. It was dedicated to his teacher Louis Spohr. Judging from this work, it is clear that he was highly gifted. The first movement, an Allegro opens with a lively, appealing, warm subject. More deeply felt is the lyrical second theme. The Andante which comes next is a true pearl with its warm and noble melodies and beautiful tonalities, especially to be found in the string parts. A spirited and piquant Scherzo, allegro moderato follows. Contrast is provided by a lovely trio with its ingratiating melody. The lively and bustling finale, Allegro vivace, is in the form of a tarantella. Here is a work to be treasured, especially by amateurs.”---so wrote the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann in his Handbook for Piano Quartet Players.
Hugo Staehle (1826-1848) was born in the Geman city of Fulda. He studied violin with Wilhelm Deichert, a student of the famous violinist Louis Spohr. Eventually, he studied with Spohr himself before entering the Leipzig Conservatory as one of its first students where he studied composition with Moritz Hauptman. During his short lifetime, he was regarded by all who became familiar with his music as a highly talented and gifted composer. Certainly, his piano quartet is ample proof of this.