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Eugen [Eugène] (Francis Charles) d'Albert

Eugen d'Albert (1864-1932)

Nationality: German
Born: April 10, 1864, Glasgow
Died: March 3, 1932, Riga (age 67)
wikipedia

String Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 11

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Andante con moto
II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
III. Adagio non troppo e con molto espressione
IV. Allegro
Composed: 1893 (age 28-29)
Duration: 32 minutes (approximately)
2 recordings, 8 videos
7:36
Reinhold Quartett
I. Andante con moto
7:32
Reinhold Quartett
II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
8:10
Reinhold Quartett
III. Adagio non troppo e con molto espressione
6:53
Reinhold Quartett
IV. Allegro
7:34
Sarastro String Quartet
I. Andante con moto
7:51
Sarastro String Quartet
II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
12:34
Sarastro String Quartet
III. Adagio non troppo e con molto espressione
6:52
Sarastro String Quartet
IV. Allegro

From Edition Silvertrust:

"Eugen d'Albert's String Quartet No. 2, published in 1893, is a mature work full of clever invention. The first movement, Andante con moto, is predominantly lyrical with uncommonly fine voice leading. The superb, muted Scherzo, allegro vivace, gives the impression of insects dancing quickly about. The trio and coda are very sentimental. The Adagio non troppo e con molto espressione is full of noble feeling. The middle section is particularly striking with pulsing rhythm. The fleet and exceptionally effective finale, Allegro, has a particularly winning main theme, lyrical and full of forward motion."

These are the words of the famous chamber music critic, Wilhelm Altmann in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.

Eugen d'Albert (1864-1932), who was one of the great piano virtuosi of his generation, was born in Glasgow to an English mother and a French father. After beginning piano lessons with his father, he eventually won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with Arthur Sullivan among others. While there, he was heard by the famous conductor Hans Richter who sent him to see Liszt in Vienna. In Vienna, d'Albert met Brahms who was very impressed by his playing. So was Liszt, who took him on as a student and came to call him Albertus Magnus as a tribute to his talent. After completing his studies with Liszt, d’Albert embarked on a successful concert career which included a series of legendary concerts in which he, under the baton of Brahms, interpreted the latter’s two piano concertos. (d'Albert dedicated this quartet to Brahms with the latter's consent)

Although he grew up in England, d'Albert felt himself drawn to Germany and Austria and began to use the German form of his first name, eventually settling in Germany.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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