Charles Lefebvre

Charles Lefebvre (1843-1917)

Nationality: French
Born: June 19, 1843, Paris Died: September 8, 1917, Aix-les-Bains (age 74)

String Quartet No. 2 in e minor, Op. 124

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Andante - Allegro risoluto
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Vivace
IV. Allegro con brio
Published: 1910, O. Bouwens van der Boijen (age 66-67)
Note: Ends in G major
From Edition Silvertrust

Charles Lefebvre

Charles Lefebvre (1843-1917) was born in Paris. After initially studying law, he entered the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Ambroise Thomas and Charles Gounod. While there, he won the prestigious Prix de Rome, the stipendium to which allowed him to live in Italy for several years. He composed in virtually every genre and chamber music comprises a sizeable portion of his output and was held in high regard as witnessed by the fact that the Academie des Beaux Arts awarded him their Prix Chartier for chamber music excellence on two occasions in 1884 and 1895. He served for several years as Professor of Ensemble Performance at the Conservatory.

His String Quartet in e minor dates from 1910. More or less a contemporary of Saint-Saëns and a generation older than the Impressionists, his music like that of Saint-Saëns, was not influenced by them. The opening movement begins with a poignant Andante introduction leading to an energetic, rhythmically powerful Allegro risoluto. The second subject is smoother and more lyrical. The second movement, Andante sostenuto, is essentially a lovely, vocal serenade sung by the first violin over a pulsing accompaniment in the other voices. The Vivace, which comes next with its whirling 16th note accompaniment and forward drive, though not so marked, is for all practical purposes a scherzo. The slow, singing trio section provides an excellent contrast. The bright finale, Allegro con brio, as the same spirit as the opening Allegro risoluto from the opening movement.

This is a fine example, along with those of Saint-Saëns, of a late French Romantic era quartet. Suitable for the concert hall but of no technical difficulty and as such can be warmly recommended to amateurs as well.

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

Related Composers

1900 WWI WWII Charles Lefebvre (1843-1917) Charles Koechlin (1867-1950)
Charles Koechlin (1867-1950)
Nationality: French
Born: November 27, 1867, Paris Died: December 31, 1950, Le Canadel, Var (age 83)