Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat Major, Op.30
Ferdinand Thieriot's Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat Major, Op.30 not only shows that he is a composer who has something to say but that his works still make an impression and speak to us even today. It is certainly unjust that this exponent of the classical composers and of Robert Schumann has been consigned to the realm of those who have been forgotten. The opening movement, Allegro, is particularly good with its broad and powerful main theme. The lyrical second subject provides an excellent contrast. Even more impressive, by virtue of its melody, is a third theme. Next comes a Scherzo with an appealing and deeply felt trio. The third movement, a warm Adagio, has a particularly memorable middle section. The spirit of Schumann envelops the lively finale, an Allegro, but in no way is the music imitative. Of particular note is his fine handling of the string parts. If this work were performed in concert or on the radio, it would go a long way to resuscitating Thieriotís reputation. It can also be warmly recommended to amateurs.---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Handbook for Piano Quartet Players.
Ferdinand Thieriot (1838-1919), five years younger than Brahms, was not only born in Hamburg, but also studied with the same teacher, Eduard Marxein. The two knew each other from their Hamburg days and remained on friendly terms. After Hamburg, Thieriot, continued his studies with Carl Gottlieb Reissiger in Dresden and then finished in Munich with Joseph Rheinberger after which he moved to Vienna where his friend Brahms was instrumental in helping him obtain the position of Styrian Music Director in the provincial capital of Graz where he worked between 1870-85. Later, Thieriot held important positions in Leipzig and Hamburg where he remained from 1902 until his death. For the most part, Thieriot, like Brahms, remained true to the classical traditions which preceded him and took Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann as his models. Only toward the end of his life did he his work show some of the influence of the "New German Music" of Wagner and Liszt.
The Piano Quartet dates from 1874 and is a first rate work which would without doubt be welcomed by concert audiences and can be recommended, as Altmann writes, not only to professionals but also to amateurs. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.