Soundbites courtesy of
String Quartet No.1 in e minor, Op.12 No.1
“Straesser's first two string quartets were published at the same time in 1901 as his Opus 12. The First Quartet begins with a Moderato that has a very rhythmic main theme full of potential which is followed by a more lyrical second subject. A very impressive and atmoshperic slow movement, Larghetto, comes next. It features a riveting viola solo played over a martial accompaniment in the violins. The third movement, Allegro molto, is a charming and lively scherzo with a very original middle section. The finale, begins as an Andante with a simple folk theme and is followed by a artistic and masterly set of variations. "—–Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Ewald Straesser (also Sträßer 1867-1933) was born in the Rhenish town of Burscheid not far from Cologne. After studying music locally, he entered the Cologne Conservatory where he studied with Franz Wüllner. After graduating, Straesser held a teaching position there and then later became a professor at the Stuttgart Conservatory. Between 1910-1920, Straesser's symphonies enjoyed great popularity and were performed by the leading conductors of the day such as Artur Nikisch, Richard Strauss, Willem Mengelberg, Felix Weingartner, and Wilhelm Furtwängler. His chamber music was also frequently performed by the then active leading ensembles.
This is a very original, very late Romantic work worthy of the attention of both amateurs and professionals. It deserves concert performance. Long out of print, we are pleased to bring it back.