Soundbites courtesy of
String Quartet No.3 in B flat Major, Op.15
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.
“Straesser’s String Quartet No.3 dates from 1913. It is an fine, reflective work, whose excellence may not be apparent at first hearing. This is particularly true of the first movement, Allegro. The warm Adagio ma non troppo, which is in the form of a romance, is more immediately approachable. Next comes a pretty Scherzo, Presto con fuoco, which is dominated by its syncopated main theme and framed by a superb trio section. It is the finale, Presto non troppo, which makes the strongest impression upon first hearing. It begins with a serious, slow introduction that leads to the main part of the movement which is very close to being a tarantella. The quartet offers no especial technical difficulties for the players.”—–Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.
Here is another unjustly ignored work which deserves the attention of both professionals and amateurs. We are pleased to reintroduce it.