Otto Albert Tichy
String Quartet in e flat minor
Tichy's String Quartet in e flat minor came into being as the result of his studying with Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Tichy, who was highly devout, really never considered writing anything but religious music until he came to Paris from his native Moravia. Begun in 1920 it was completed in 1924. The Chamber Music Journal describes the work as follows:
"It reveals the influence of his teacher, d’Indy and d'Indy's teacher Cesar Franck, but also has vague folkloric elements. The overall feel is a fusion of French impressionism with late German romanticism. The opening movement, Moderato, vivo ma non tanto, begins in very dramatic fashion. The tonalities, for the most part are more late 19th century than early 20th and certainly not as advanced as d’Indy’s later quartets. The charming second movement, Allegretto, in the main is a gentile intermezzo. But here one can hear Novak’s influence and Tichy’s Czech background. This can be heard again in the short Andante which follows. The playful finale, Rondo allegro scherzando, again sounds more Central European than French although there are a few tonal passages in which d’Indy could have heard his influence upon the composer. The quartet is well-written and quite appealing "
Otto Albert Tichy (1890-1973) was born in Moravian town of Martinkov, Moravia now part of the Czech Republic but then part of Habsburg Austria. He studied composition at the Prague Conservatory with Vitozslav Novak after which he went to work for a religious music publish for a decade. The urge to composed led him to continue his studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum with Vincent d'Indy. Between 1926-36, he taught in Switzerland and then returned to Prague eventually becoming a professor at the Conservatory, a position he held from 1945-65. While mostly known for his religious music, he did compose some chamber music.
We agree with the assessment in the Chamber Music Journal--this is an appealing work, well worth hearing and playing. Not available for many years, we are pleased to present it once again.