Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
String Quartet No.2 in F Major, Op.22
Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music devotes over 2 pages to Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No.2, lavishing considerable praise on it, but very few chamber music enthusiasts are familiar with it.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is one of the most famous composers who ever lived and as such needs no introduction. However, chamber music is scarcely the first, second or even third musical genre with which he is associated. But, like most of the major composers of the 19th century, he made substantial contributions to the chamber music repertoire. Unfortunately, most of it remains virtually unknown and unplayed.
Tchaikovsky completed his Second String Quartet in 1874. The respected critic and scholar, Professor Nikolai Findeisen, in his article for Cobbett's Cyclopedia calls the opening Adagio introduction a poetic reverie. The felicitous main theme Moderato assai which follows is very Russian in character. The surprising coda ends softly. The Scherzo which follows has a typical Russian rhythm of the sort which both Rimsky Korsakov and Borodin often employed. The charming trio section has a waltz motif for its theme. The slow movement, Andante ma non tanto, begins with a poetic introduction. The music, which is filled with fine contrapuntal writing, evokes the atmosphere of cheerful scenery. The finale, Allegro con moto, after a short introduction presents a theme which is Ukrainian in character, tuneful and sonorous. The mood is bright and triumphant.
The Quartet has either been out of print or very hard and expensive to obtain. Several older editions leave a lot to be desired. Some had no rehearsal letters (Jurgenson) others were printed with very poor ink and paper (Frederic Schreiber) and are hard to read. We have reprinted what is probably the best edition ever made of this work and offer it at a very reasonable price in hopes of interesting both professional and amateur players.
Parts & Score: $33.95