String Quartet No.2 in A Major, Op.42
Wladyslaw (Ladislas) Zelenski (1837-1921) was born in Grodkowice not far from the city of Cracow. After studying piano locally with several teachers, including the well-known concert pianist Alexander Dreyschock, he went to Prague Univeristy where he took a doctorate in philosophy. He also took composition lessons from Josef Krej„i after which he enrolled in the Paris Conservatory where he continued his composition lessons with Henri Reber. Upon his return to Poland he enjoyed a long career as a concert pianist, teacher and composer. He held several important teaching posts including Director of the Cracow Conservatory which he helped to found. He wrote in most genres and left a number of chamber music works which have received considerable praise from contemporary critics
Writing in his Handbook for Chamber Music Players, Wilhelm Altmann has this to say:
"Zelenskiís Second String Quartet, Op.42, appeared in 1891. It shows the influence of Schumann. The main theme to the opening movement, Allegro con brio, is light and easy. It is followed by a more lyrical subject. The charming second movement, Intermezzo, has a dance-like quality. The main theme of the Molto cantabile, which comes next, is warm and noble. The dramatic middle section has an operatic quality. The finale, Allegro molto, plays quite well.Ē
Zelenski was regarded by his contemporaries as the most influential and important Polish composer of the fin de siecle, late romantic era. This quartet is an important representative of that period. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available once again.