Guillaume Lekeu

Guillaume Lekeu (1870-1894)

Nationality: Belgian
Born: January 20, 1870, Heusy Died: January 21, 1894, Angers (age 24)

Piano Quartet in b minor

(for violin, viola, cello and piano)
14:31 I. Dans un emportement douloureux (Très animé)
10:55 II. Lent et passionné
Duration: 28 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1893 (age 22-23)
Note: Incomplete; 2nd movement completed by Vincent d'Indy
5 recordings, 8 videos
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Trio Hochelaga
I. Dans un emportement douloureux (Très animé)
Trio Hochelaga
II. Lent et passionné
Spiller Trio, Oscar Lysy
I. Dans un emportement douloureux (Très animé)
Spiller Trio, Oscar Lysy
II. Lent et passionné
Frith Piano Quartet
I. Dans un emportement douloureux (Très animé)
Frith Piano Quartet
II. Lent et passionné
Unknown ensemble
Quatuor Kandinsky
I. Dans un emportement douloureux (Très animé)
From Edition Silvertrust

Guillaume Lekeu Lekeu’s Piano Quartet was commissioned by Eugène Ysaÿe, the famous violinist and his fellow countryman. The quartet was begun in 1893 and left incomplete the following year. The first movement, Dan un emportement douloureux (in a transport of grief) a massive affair could be regarded as at least two movements in one. Some commentators have noted four distinct sections. It begins in a furious and turbulent fashion. Through the torrents of powerful emotion, lyrical melodies break through like the sun through storm clouds. The second movement, Lent e passione, according to Lekeu’s own letters was to be a nocturne and a love scene. He died, unfortunately before completing it. D’Indy’s contribution was merely adding a seven bar ending.

Guillaume Lekeu (1870-94) was born in the village of Heusy in Belgium and began his musical studies at a conservatory nearby. In 1888, his family moved to Paris and he entered the Paris Conservatory where first he studied with César Franck and after Franck's death, with Vincent d'Indy. Tragically, Lekeu died of typhoid fever just after his 24th birthday. The usually critical Debussy regarded Lekeu to be as talented as Franck and d'Indy regarded him a genius. In addition to his Violin Sonata, he completed a string quartet, a piano trio and this partially finished piano quartet.

This is a first class work which is the equal of any of piano quartet from this period.

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

Related Composers

1900 WWI WWII César Franck (1822-1890) Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931) Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Guillaume Lekeu (1870-1894) Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) George Enescu (1881-1955)
César Franck (1822-1890)
Nationality: French | Belgian
Born: December 10, 1822, Liège Died: November 8, 1890, Paris (age 67)
Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931)
Nationality: French
Born: March 27, 1851, Paris Died: December 2, 1931, Paris (age 80)