Valborg Aulin, String Quartet No.1 in F Major

Valborg Aulin Valborg Aulin's String Quartet No.1 in F Major dates from 1884. It was dedicated to the Albert Rubenson, director of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and a then prominent Swedish composer. The somewhat lengthy first movement, Allegro con grazia is both lyrical and romantic. The second movement, Intermezzo, Allegro con spirito e capriccioso, is a very original sounding scherzo showing the influence of Mendelssohn. The Andante espressivo which follows is attractive and well written. The finale, Allegro vivace, is jocular and full of forward motion.

During her lifetime, Valborg Aulin (1860-1928) was overshadowed by her younger brother Tor Aulin who was for several decades one of Europe's foremost violinists. She began as a pianist but went on to formally study composition between 1877-82 at the Royal Academy in Stockholm where her teachers included Hermann Berens and Ludwig Norman. Scholarships enabled her to travel to Copenhagen where she was able to study with Niels Gade, and then to Paris where she took lessons from Benjamin Godard and Jules Massenet. After completing her studies, she embarked upon a composing career based in Stockholm for the next twenty years during which she initially had some small critical success but ultimately had less and less as time went on. Finally, she gave up in defeat and moved to the provincial city of Örebro where she spent the rest of her life eking out a living as a music teacher. She wrote two string quartets.

Life is not always fair. Valborg Aulin was a competent composer who wrote finished works which were not only pleasing to hear but also fun to play. Certainly her String Quartet No.1 is an example, a good work deserving concert performance and a place on the stands of home music makers.

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