Georg Hendrik Witte
Piano Quartet in A Major, Op.5
"Georg Hendrik Witte's Piano Quartet in A Major, Op.5 dates from1867. No composer studying at the Leipzig Conservatory at the time Witte did (mid 1860's) could escape the influence of its founders Mendelssohn and Schumann who were held up by most of the professors there as musical gods to be emulated. Witte was no exception, however, his work is nonetheless original and fresh sounding. The Piano Quartet won him a prize at a prestigious competition, and it is indeed a fine work. It opens with a Moderato assai introduction which leads to the very effective main section, Allegro con fuoco. The second movement, Sostenuto, has for its theme a somewhat melancholy subject on which a set of excellently contrasting variations are produced. Next comes an appealing Vivace which serves as a scherzo. There is a fetching trio section based on a folk melody. The satisfying finale, Allegro giojoso, features a magnificent fugal episode before the work is brought successful close. This is a good candidate for the concert hall and can be warmly recommended to amateur ensembles."---The Silvertrust Guide to Piano Quartets.
Georg Hendrik Witte (1843-1929) was born in the Dutch city of Utrecht. At age 16, he entered the Royal Dutch Conservatory in the Hague where he studied violin, piano, organ and composition. He then continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatory with Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke for piano, and Moritz Hauptmann and Ernst Friedrich Richter for composition. After teaching briefly in the city of Thann in Alsace, he tried to obtain a post in the Netherlands but there were none available. However, on the recommendation of Reinecke, Witte obtained the post of Director of the Music Society of Essen and eventually became Music Director of the city of Essen, serving as conductor of its orchestra and choir society.
Fresh and original, this fine work has long been out of print. We are pleased to make it available once more and warmly recommend it to both professionals and amateurs alike.