Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune. Igor Stravinsky

Glazunov, 5 Novelettes for String Quartet, Op. 15

August 3rd, 2015

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

5 Novelettes for String Quartet, Op. 15 (1886)

The Russian Alexander Glazunov is an example of a gifted composer who pursued a highly successful career and garnered great renown but who nonetheless has faded from view as a somewhat conservative composer overshadowed by more provocative figures who came just before and after his time. He was younger than the “The Might Handful”, the fierce nationalists including Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Mussorgsky who were the first to forge a distinctly Russian style. He was also decades younger than Tchaikovsky, the brilliant cosmopolitan with a penchant for the grand European style. As Glazunov found his own style in a pleasing blend of both trends, he was soon usurped by a series of brilliant Russian modernists including Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev whom Glazunov found distasteful as they found him reactionary. Nonetheless, Glazunov was proclaimed a prodigy in his youth, studied with Rimsky-Korsakov who regarded him as a brilliant colleague more than a student, was a respected conductor and become the director of the St. Petersburg conservatory for over two decades. Glazunov the composer produced a substantial body of work including eight symphonies, several concertos, ballets and seven string quartets among numerous other compositions. Today, he is most famous for his ballets “Raymonda”, “The Seasons” and his Violin Concerto made famous by Heifetz. « more »

Exploring the String Quartet—The First 250 Years

Exploring the String QuartetSince its birth around 1760, the string quartet has maintained a vital and profound hold on composers, players and listeners: it has been the vehicle par excellence for a rich continuum of some of the finest music composed throughout the last 250 years. Across time, nationality, and centuries of changing style, the string quartet has formed the backbone of small ensemble chamber music with a rich lore. Music for the string quartet consistently features lyrical beauty, complex harmony, intense passion, powerful rhythm and elegant formal design. From the most intimate personal expression to the most brilliant virtuosity, from the ancient and otherworldly to edgy grooves of the present day, the string quartet appears to be an infinitely flexible ensemble engaging great composers and performers in one of the richest living traditions of music in all of history. For many, if not most, however, it a rarely encountered “hidden” genre, while historically, culturally, musically, for others, it is the mother lode. Take some time to discover this stunning genre, the heart of the matter. Explore

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Works 43,494
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String Quartet 11,437
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