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Chamber Music

Synopsis

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THE LENER STRING QUARTET:
JENO LENER (Violin); JOSEPH SMILOVITS (Violin);
SANDOR ROTH (Viola) ; IMRE HARTMANN (Violoncello)
T HE splendid team-work of this quartet, to which the whole world looks as a standard, began with the best possible auguries. The four artists are almost the same age-two were born in 1894 and two in 1895--and all were distinguished pupils of the same school-the Budapest Academy. All except the 'cellist were pupils of one master, Hubay, and he was a pupil and close friend of Joachim's, so that the best traditions of quartet-playing long ago became part of their equipment. The 'cellist was a pupil of that great artist David Popper. When revolution broke out in Hungary in 11)18, all four were leading members of the Budapest opera orchestra; they went into retirement, and devoted themselves for two years to uninterrupted quartet practice, with a success which was immediately acclaimed on their first appearance as a team. To the musical world of Vienna, and soon afterwards in Paris, their playing was something of a revelation, and even now, when the whole world knows them, it is always a fresh amazement, wherever they are heard, that four artists can play as though only one conception of the music guided their thoughts and hands.
Quartet in D Minor ................ Schubert
Allegro; Andante con moto (Variations on Death and the Maiden); Scherzo-Allegro molto ; Presto-Prestissimc
SHUBERT more than once made use of his own melodies in different ways, and this quartet takes its name from the slow movement which is a very beautiful set of variations on his own splendid song,' Death and the Maiden.' Alike to chamber music enthusiasts and to tho man in the street to whom simple melody appeals, this is among the finest of all the works which Schubert left, rich in all the qualities which endear him to us.
There are four movements ; the first brilliant and energetic, with the usual two main themes— the first in minor and the second, happier and quieter, in major. The ' Death and the Maiden ' variations come next, and then there is a merry scherzo, with a trio based on a fine, flowing melody. The last movement is in the brightest of good spirits throughout.
10.25 Quartet ........................ Debussy
Anime et tres décidé; Assez vifet bien rhythmé; Andantino doucement expressif; Très modere —très mouvemente et avec passion, très vif DEBUSSY'S one String Quartet is an early work, and is almost the only chamber music he wrote until his last years. While he was writing the quartet he was already busy with the opera Pelleas and Melisande, though it was not completed until long afterwards ; it was at that period, too, that his enthusiasm for the poet Mallarme, who inspired The Faun's Afternoon, had a big share in developing the turn of mind which his music reflects so very much better than any words could describe.

Contributors

Artist: David Popper.






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Feedback about Chamber Music, National Programme Daventry, 21.40, 7 March 1932
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