The art of dramatic writing is to compose a melodic curve which will, as if by magic, reveal immediately a human being in one definite phase of his existence. Leoš Janáček

Schulhoff, String Quartet No. 1

May 9th, 2012

Erwin Schulhoff

String Quartet No. 1, 1924

Erwin SchulhoffSchulhoff composed his String Quartet No. 1 in 1924 when he was 30. A relatively brief work at about sixteen minutes, it is colorful, unique work that strongly reflects Schulhoff’s Czech heritage as well as a heady mix of styles and trends “in the air” in the experimental mood of the 20’s between the two world wars. The opening Presto con fuoco is an amalgam of lively Czech dance and the motoric, muscular rhythms so prevalent in music of the time. The husky drive is especially reinforced by predominantly unison textures. The second movement is as curious as its title suggests: Allegretto con moto e con maliconia grotesca. Somewhat whimsical if not ironic, a kind of mock sentimentality features the lower voices – viola and cello – along with some wonderfully colorful sonorities through special effects including pizzicato, glissando and ponticello. « 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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earsense celebrates and explores how music makes "sense" with a focus on the extraordinary genre of chamber music. The centerpiece of earsense is a comprehensive database of chamber music composers, works, events and related media.


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