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. 6 in B-flat major, Op. 106, G 176

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
11:57 I. Allegro
8:12 II. Intermezzo rusticano. Allegretto
8:24 III. Andante piangevole
14:38 IV. Tema con variazioni. Allegro
Duration: 43 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1920-1921 (age 54-56)
Published: 1922 (age 56-57)
1 recording, 4 videos
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Shostakovich Quartet
I. Allegro
Shostakovich Quartet
II. Intermezzo rusticano. Allegretto
Shostakovich Quartet
III. Andante piangevole
Shostakovich Quartet
IV. Tema con variazioni. Allegro
From Edition Silvertrust

Alexander GlazunovAlexander Glazunov’s String Quartet No.6 in B flat Major, Op.106 was begun in 1920 by which time Lenin was leading the newly constituted Soviet Union. These were hard years for everyone then in Russia. Glazunov was still teaching at the Petersburg Conservatory and was generally regarded as the foremost living Russian composer. Some years before, a group of players had formed a quartet taking Glazunov’s name as their own and dedicating themselves to performing his works. It was to the Glazunov String Quartet that the composer dedicated this Quartet which was completed in 1921. In this quartet, we find the tonalities are sometimes slightly more advanced than before, mainly through the use of chromaticism. The opening Allegro has for its main theme a happy melody whose advance is lightened by quick downward chromatic passages which interrupt the proceedings. Of particular note is a stunning cello solo which creates the dramatic climax of the movement. The second movement, Intermezzo Rustico, is quite striking and memorable. It integrates two very Russian themes. The first is march-like while the second recalls the opening of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. For the most part, Glazunov uses a light touch much in keeping with the traditional intermezzo. Particularly telling use is made of pizzicato throughout. A slow movement, Andante piangevole, follows. The sad and heavy main theme is presented in fugal form. Here the use of chromaticism is particularly prominent and some of the more advanced—at least for Glazunov—tonalities are created through its use. The subdued mood, throughout this movement is never lightened. The finale is a Theme with Variations. Different techniques are employed to provide contrast.

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. By 1895, Glazunov was 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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