Piano Quartet in e minor, Op.12
"Passionate...a work full of expressive power"---Ernest Walker writing in Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Donald Tovey (1875-1940) was born in the English town of Eton. He studied piano privately and subsequently attended Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied composition with Hubert Parry. He enjoyed a career as a concert performer as well as a composer and served as a Professor of Music for more than 25 years at Edinburgh University. Today he is best remembered for his essays on music, but he regarded himself first and foremost as a composer. Tovey wrote in most genres and his compositions were not only respected but regularly performed in such important venues as London, Vienna and Berlin. But like the works of so many others, it has inexplicably disappeared from the concert stage. He wrote several chamber music works, most dating from the last decade of the 19th century up to the First World War.
The Piano Quartet in e minor was composed in 1900 but was not published until 12 years later. It is dedicated one of his tutors at Oxford, Henry Joachim, a nephew of the famous violinist. It is only in two movements, but these are of considerable size and breadth. The opening movement begins as an Allegro moderato e sostenuto, softly. It undergoes many tempo and mood changes. The finale is a theme and set of variations. Again there are wide mood swings, high drama and powerful climaxes are interspersed with quiet, calmer and more reflective episodes.
This is a powerful work of considerable originality which deserves to be heard once again. Long out of print, we are pleased to reintroduce it and have added rehearsal letters to the original edition.