Asger Hamerik

Asger Hamerik (1843-1923)

Nationality: Danish
Born: April 8, 1843, Frederiksborg Died: July 13, 1923, Frederiksborg (age 80)

Quartetto for String Quartet in a minor

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
Allegro energico
Duration: 7 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1859 (age 15-16)
From Edition Silvertrust

Asgar HamerikAsgar Hamerik (1843-1923) was born in the Danish town of Frederiksberg. He studied piano at the Royal Danish Conservatory and composition with Niels Gade and J.P.E. Hartmann. He took further lessons in piano and conducting from the piano virtuoso and famous conductor Hans von Bülow. He then embarked on a career as a concert pianist. He knew many of the important musical personalities of his time, including Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz, all of whom were impressed with both his playing and his compositions. While touring in Italy, he was offered a job teaching at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, a position which he accepted, eventually becoming its director. He stayed for 27 years before returning to Denmark. He wrote in virtually every genre, including symphonies and operas. Although during his lifetime, he was considered perhaps the most important living Danish composer after Gade, many of his works remain unpublished. His early works show the influence of his teacher Gade and have a Nordic quality to them. His later compositions, reflect the considerable time he had spent in Paris and show some resemblance to the works of Paul Dukas and César Franck.

The Quartettto in a minor dates from 1859 while he was studying with Gade and Hartmann. Both were impressed by it and encouraged him to continue his studies. It is in one movement, Allegro energico. The main theme is dramatic and dominated by its rhythm, while a finely contrasting second subject is more lyrical.

When you hear it, it is easy to understand why Gade and Hartmann were impressed and encouraged the young Hamerik to follow the path of composer. It is a short but impressive and makes a fine program choice where a shorter piece is required or a nice encore. Not difficult to perform, it can be recommended to both professionals and amateurs. Our edition was based on the composer's manuscript score and was edited by senior editors Tomasz Golinski and Raymond Silvertrust.

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