String Quintet in C Major, Op.40
For 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello
The famed chamber music critic and scholar Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Chamber Music Handbook, describes this quintet as follows:
“Felix Weingartner's String Quintet dates from 1906. The opening Allegro con brio has a weighty and vigorous main subject, followed by an equally vigorous subsidiary theme. Very delicate and graceful is the second subject, around which there plays a charming accompaniment figure. This is a highly effective movement throughout. The second movement, Allegretto grazioso is in the form of an updated rococo dainty minuet. The lively and fleet trio, which is repeated twice, is in the form of a two step dance and provides a superb contrast. The following movement, Molto agitato e passionato, is a recitative, in which the first violin is given the lead. It is succeeded simple, naïve air, which is skillfully and ingeniously varied. A big, magnificent finale, Allegro e marcato deciso in c minor, begins with a passionate melody. It contains a kind of chorale, and, after reaching a brilliant climax, closes consolingly with an andante in the major mode, soft and mainly tender in character. There is no question but that this fine sounding and effective work would triumph in the concert hall and experienced amateur players also should not miss the chance to play it.”
Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) was born in Zara, Dalmatia, today's Zadar, Croatia, to Austrian parents. In 1883, he went to the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied composition with Carl Reinecke. He also studied privately with Franz Liszt in Weimar. Weingartner was one of the most famous and successful conductors of his time, holding positions in Hamburg, Mannheim, Danzig, Munich, Berlin and Vienna, where he succeeded Gustav Mahler as Director of the Imperial Opera. Despite his demanding career as a conductor, Weingartner, like Mahler, thought of himself equally as a composer and devoted considerable time to composition. He wrote several symphonies, numerous operas, some instrumental concertos, and a considerable amount of chamber music, including four string quartets, a piano sextet and a string quintet. Additionally he wrote a great number of vocal works and instrumental sonatas. Though many of his works originally achieved a fair amount acclaim, they quickly disappeared from the concert stage. It is only in the past few years that their excellence has been rediscovered.
This is a superb work. There is nothing at all like it in the quintet literature. Out of print for half a century, this is your opportunity to play an exciting and satisfying early modern quintet of the first order.