Eugen Jámbor (1853-1914)

Nationality: Hungarian | Austrian
Born: May 14, 1853 Died: March 18, 1914 (age 60)

String Quartet in g minor, Op. 55

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro con brio
II. Lento e mesto - Poco mosso e appassionato
III. Allegro scherzando
IV. Allegro moderato
Published: 1898 (age 44-45)
From Edition Silvertrust

Very little information is available about the Austro-Hungarian composer who was generally known by his German name Eugen von Jambor (1853-1914). His name also appears, though less often, in the Hungarian form Jeno Jambor and the French form as Eugene Jambor. He studied at organ, violin, piano and composition, the latter with Robert Volkmann at the Budapest Conservatory. He then continued his studies in Vienna where he took degrees in law and philosophy. Besides playing in the Hungarian National Theater Orchestra and Budapest Philharmonic, he also taught at the Budapest Conservatory. He was primarily known for his art songs, i.e. Lieder, but his works for violin and piano and cello and piano as well as his chamber music were often performed.

His String Quartet in g minor dates from 1898 and was for a time in the repertoire of the famous Budapest String Quartet founded by the well-known violin virtuoso Jeno Hubay and the famous cellist David Popper. The opening movement, Allegro con brio, begins with two "Mannheim Rockets", an explosive, ascending passage creating considerable excitement. This was a technique of which his teacher Volkmann was particularly fond and which he used to begin his sixth quartet. The main theme is full of yearning and forward motion. The second movement, Lento e mesto, is somber and plaint-like march, perhaps funereal. Next comes a lively, sychopated Allegro scherzando, giving the impression of a bumpy horse ride. The finale, Allegro moderato, is appealing Hungarian rondo.

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