Benjamin Godard

Benjamin Godard (1849-1895)

Nationality: French
Born: August 18, 1849, Paris Died: January 10, 1895, Cannes (age 45)

String Quartet No. 1 in g minor, Op. 33

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
6:55 I. Allegro
3:24 II. Andantino con variazioni
6:48 III. Andante quasi adagio
7:08 IV. Allegro
Duration: 24 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1876 (age 26-27)
Published: 1882 (age 32-33)
1 recording, 4 videos
autoopen autoplay
Quatuor Élysée
I. Allegro
Quatuor Élysée
II. Andantino con variazioni
Quatuor Élysée
III. Andante quasi adagio
Quatuor Élysée
IV. Allegro
From Edition Silvertrust

Benjamin Godard Benjamin Godard (1849-95) was born in Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire composition with Henri Reber and violin with Henri Vieuxtemps. He was somewhat of a prodigy on that instrument, as well as on the viola, and accompanied Vieuxtemps to Germany on concert tours on two occasions. Godard enjoyed chamber music and played in several performing ensembles. This experience stood him good stead when it came to writing effective chamber music compositions. In 1878, Godard was the co-winner with Théodore Dubois, head of the Paris Conservatory, of a musical competition instituted by the city of Paris. He composed music with great facility and from 1878 to the time until his death Godard composed a surprisingly large number of works, including the opera Jocelyn, from which the famous "Berceuse" has become perhaps his best-known work. He also composed several symphonic works, ballets, concertos, overtures and chamber music, including three string quartets and two piano trios.

Writing in his Handbook for String Quartet Players, the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmannhas this to say about Godard’s String Quartet No.1:

“Godard’s First String Quartet dates from 1882 and demonstrates the composer not only has total command of quartet movement technique but also knows how to write a good fugue. The spirited, lyrical theme of the energetic first movement, Allegro, is highly appealing. The unusually harmonic twists and tonal effects are particularly effective. The second movement, Andantino, is a very pleasing theme and set of variations. A short playful pizzicato introduction introduces precedes the charming theme. A short, gorgeous Andante quasi adagio is a lovely song without words. The finale consists of a bustling and quite effective Allegro. Amateurs will certainly enjoy this richly melodic quartet which is strong enough for the concert hall where it is sure to win friends.”

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

Related Composers

Henri Reber (1807-1880)
Nationality: French
Born: October 21, 1807, Mulhouse Died: November 24, 1880, Paris (age 73)
Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881)
Nationality: Belgian
Born: February 17, 1820, Verviers, Belgium Died: June 6, 1881, Mustapha, Algeria (age 61)
Laura Valborg Aulin (1860-1928)
Nationality: Swedish
Born: January 9, 1860, Gävle Died: January 11, 1928, Örebro (age 68)
Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944)
Nationality: French
Born: August 8, 1857, Paris Died: April 13, 1944, Monte Carlo (age 86)