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The Virtuoso String Quartet


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The music of Cesar Franck, great musician and great mystic, made way very slowly. Just a little band of pupils and disciples believed in it. Then came the catastrophe — an omnibus knocked him down and injured him, and from this injury he died.
And now everybody reveres him, and the great Symphony, and this String Quartet, which we are about to hear (the only Quartet he wrote) are beloved of musicians everywhere.
The work, which he began to sketch out when he was sixty seven (in the year before his death), is in four Movements.

The FIRST MOVEMENT is built on somewhat uncommon lines. The opening slow theme is, as it were, a germ of the whole work. After the first section we have, in quick time, an exposition of the usual two Main Tunes, ono in a minor key, and tho other, in the major, beginning sweetly and softly in the First Violin, sono little time afterwards. These ideas are joined together by a 'Cello theme which is accompanied by the other Strings in a tremolo. This 'Cello 'link' comes again in the last Movement.
After these two Main Tunes have been thus expounded, tho theme of the opening slow section reappears (on tho Viola), and is treated in fugal style. Then the quicker speed is resinned for a time, and the two Main Tunes are developed a little, and re-stated; the opening slow theme of the Movement brings it to an end in perfect rostfulnoss.
The SECOND MOVEMENT is a Scherzo, of great delicacy and fina imagination, played on muted Strings
The THIRD MOVEMENT (Slowish) is in the Composer's favourite key of B, and has all his elevation and nobility of feeling
Tho FOURTH MOVEMENT brings in at the beginning, themes hoard earlier in the work.
Of tho two Main Tunes of the Movement one, heard on tho Viola against a very soft accompaniment, is derivod from the themo with which tho Quartet began, and the Second is in several sections, one part of which has affinity with the 'Cello 'link' between the First Movement's two Tunes.
Near the end of the work Franck recalls first tho rhythm of the Scherzo and then (in a broadened form on the First Violin) the lovely melody of the Slow Movement.


Unknown: Rudolf Steiner

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The Virtuoso String Quartet

2LO London, 3 April 1927 21.20

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