Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: August 10, 1865, St. Petersburg Died: March 21, 1936, Paris (age 70)

String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 1, G 35

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
7:59 I. Andantino moderato - Allegro moderato
3:04 II. Scherzo. Vivace - Coda. Presto
4:00 III. Andante
6:14 IV. Finale. Moderato
Duration: 21 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1882 (age 16-17)
Published: 1887 (age 21-22)
1 recording, 4 videos
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Moscow Philharmonic Quartet
I. Andantino moderato - Allegro moderato
Moscow Philharmonic Quartet
II. Scherzo. Vivace - Coda. Presto
Moscow Philharmonic Quartet
III. Andante
Moscow Philharmonic Quartet
IV. Finale. Moderato
From Edition Silvertrust

Alexander GlazunovString Quartet No.1 in D Major, Op.1 was composed sometime in 1881 and premiered the following year. It is dedicated to Madame Ludmilla Schestakov, maiden name Glinka. She was Mikhail Glinka’s sister. To put this work into its historical context, we must consider that Glazunov had more or less finished his formal studies with Rimsky-Korsakov. The Russian National school of composing, founded by Balakirev and his followers, was approaching its zenith. The quartet begins with an introduction, Andantino moderato, which is closely related to the main theme of the following Allegro moderato. The treatment of the main theme is quite plastic. Of particular note is the use of fifths in the accompaniment of the cheerful melodies, especially the second theme. This was a technique of which Korsakov and his students were particularly fond. It undeniably helps to create an exotic oriental atmosphere to which the Russians were attracted. Rather than placing a slow movement next, Glazunov opts for a lively Scherzo, vivace. The brisk, main theme recalls Schumann. The second theme, provides a good contrast. Glazunov omits writing a trio and contents himself with alternating these two subjects several times, ending with the 2nd theme. The following Andante serves as the slow movement. It is perhaps based on a folksong. The main subject of the finale, Moderato, also has the appearance of being based on a Russian folk melody. The second theme is more lyrical and relieves the angular rhythmic quality of the first. Here, Glazunov lavishes considerable effort on the working out of the themes. Of note, is the excellent part-writing for each voice. To sum up, the quartet is an appealing work which surely will be of interest to amateurs and also merits a concert performance. Certainly, it was a fine effort for a 17 year old composer.”

—Moise Shevitovsky writing in The Chamber Music Journal.

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was born in St. Petersburg, the son of a wealthy book publisher. He began studying piano at the age of nine and started composing not long after. In 1879, he began studies with Rimsky- Korsakov. Glazunov’s progress was so fast that within two years, Korsakov considered Glazunov more of a junior colleague than a student. Between 1895 and 1914, Glazunov was, during his lifetime, widely regarded, both inside and out, as Russia’s greatest living composer. His works include symphonies, ballets, operas and seven string quartets in addition to various instrumental sonatas.

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

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