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All Listed Works Edition Silvertrust
Ernst Rudorff

Ernst Rudorff (1840-1916)

Nationality: German
Born: January 18, 1840, Berlin Died: December 31, 1916, Berlin (age 76)

String Sextet in A major, Op. 5 (for 3 violins, viola and 2 cellos)

(for 3 violins, viola and 2 cellos)
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro molto
Composed: 1865 (age 24-25)
From Edition Silvertrust

Ernst Rudorff's String Sextet on A Major was described by the famous chamber music scholar and critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook as follows:

“Rudorff’s String Sextet in A Major was published in 1865. It is a grateful work to play but is not for the usual combination of 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, but for 3 violins, viola and 2 cellos. Perhaps it is not surprising that it shows the influence of Schumann whose chamber music Rudorff studied closely. It is superbly put together, extremely clear and transparent writing. It deserves concert performance and amateurs will also enjoy this tonally beautiful work. The first movement, Allegro, is a sweet and gentle idyll, whose main subject is especially impressive. The development, full of fine contrapuntal touches, is quite effective. The movement brings forth appealing melody after melody. Next comes an Andante, a delightful set of variations based on a simple lied-like theme. The finale, Allegro molto, begins with a rhythmically interesting theme and leads to a nicely executed fugal section.”

Ernst Rudorff (1840-1918) was born in Berlin. He began his studies there with Woldemar Bargiel and then entered the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied with Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke among others. After graduating he pursed a career as a piano soloist, teacher and composer. He held positions at the Cologne Conservatory and the Berlin Hochschule. Among his many students were Wilhelm Berger and Leopold Godowsky. Most of his works were for piano, His String Sextet, besides a few works for violin and piano, is his only chamber music work.

The original edition, long unavailable and which we have reprinted, is for 3 Violins, Viola, and 2 Cellos. Marvelous though it is in this setting, it must be admitted that nowadays, this combination is only occasionally assembled. Therefore, we have provided a second viola part in lieu of the third violin so that this wonderful music can now be enjoyed during an evening of string sextets, say by Borodin, Gliere, Rimsky Korsakov and other fine sextets Edition Silvertust offers.

We looked for a set of parts to this very fine work for many years. Eventually we were able to obtain a copy of a set of the original parts which were 150 years old and not in the best of condition. The music had faded in places and there were all sorts of water marks, smudges, detritus and fingerings. We have spent many hours digitally cleaning, darkening, removing fingerings and correcting errors and have been able to create a serviceable performance edition in order to rescue this masterwork from oblivion. But, it is not pristine like a newly published work nor the equal in quality of a modern edition.

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