Alexander Kopïlov

Alexander Kopïlov (1854-1911)

Nationality: Russian
Born: July 14, 1854, St. Petersburg Died: March 5, 1911, Strelna (age 56)

String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 32

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro risoluto
II. Allegro
III. Andante con moto - Allegretto
IV. Allegro - Allegro ma non troppo
Published: 1912
Dedication: Sergey Tertievich Filippov (Сергей Тертиевич Филиппов)
From Edition Silvertrust

Alexander Kopylov Although Alexander Kopylov (1854-1911) began his studies at the Imperial Court Choir which was similar and modeled after the more famous one in Vienna. (Today known as the Vienna Boys Choir). There he studied violin and served as a chorister. Later, he taught there for much of his life. Although he was unable to gain entrance to either of the major Conservatories in Russia, he nevertheless was able to study composition privately with Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoly Liadov. He gained a reputation as a Symphonist, and composer of songs, but through his friendship with Rimsky Korsakov, he became interested in chamber music, writing four string quartets. Of them Wilhelm Altmann, the famous chamber music scholar and critic, writes in his Handbook for String Quartet Players:

"Kopylov's four carefully written string quartets show an outstanding command of proper quartet style. He gives all of the instruments mutually rich parts to play, alternating in exquisite fashion. His excellence is particularly strong in the sparkling themes. He is able to combine the external beauty of form with effective ideas and distinctive harmonies and rhythms. His Third String Quartet was published in the year after his death in 1912. (although most likely it was composed during the late 1890's---Ed.). The opening movement, Allegro risoluto immediately introduces a fresh and appealing theme which is followed by a more lyrical subject played over a chromatic ostinato in the viola. The second movement is a lively, spirited Scherzo, a kind of updated Mendelssohnian affair with a slower middle section full of Russian charm. A slow movement, Andante, follows. Here the first violin sings a plaintive song over a heavy, almost funereal accompaniment in the lower voices. The finale, Allegro ma non troppo, features a rustic folk dance full of forward motion for its main subject. Here and there, for example, in the second theme we hear echoes of Borodin

Here is another with good quartet with appealing melodies, good part-writing and no great technical difficulty, which is fun to play and to hear. Long out of print, we are pleased to make it available again.

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