Gustav Helsted

Gustav Helsted (1857-1924)

Nationality: Danish
Born: January 30, 1857, Copenhagen Died: March 1, 1924, Copenhagen (age 67)

String Quartet in f minor, Op. 33

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
6:12 I. Allegro con fuoco
6:19 II. Presto appassionato
7:25 III. Andante sostenuto
7:12 IV. Allegro risoluto
Duration: 27 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1922 (age 64-65)
1 recordings, 3 videos
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6:12
Randers Kammerorchester
I. Allegro con fuoco
7:25
Randers Kammerorchester
III. Andante sostenuto
7:12
Randers Kammerorchester
IV. Allegro risoluto
From Edition Silvertrust

Gustav Helsted's String Quartet No.3 in f minor was composed in 1917 and published two years before his death in 1922. The music, and this is in each movement, alternates between thematic material which has a certain hardness and astringency and late Romanticism made more beautiful by what proceeds it. The main theme of the opening Allegro con fuoco is dramatic, powerful and thrusting. A second subject is more lyrical. The movement which follows, Presto appassionato, is a nervous, angular scherzo. An impressive, dour Andante sostentuo, a cross between a funeral march and a dirge, serves as the third movement. The finale, Allegro risoluto, proceeds in much the same manner as the opening movement, with a dry but energetic main subject followed by more traditional late romantic melody.

Gustav Helsted (1857-1924) was born in Copenhagen, the son of the composer Carl Helsted from whom he had his first music lessons. Helsted studied organ and composition at the Royal Danish Conservatory with Niels Gade and J.P.E. Hartmann. He pursued a dual career as a prominent church organist, and professor at the Conservatory. Along with Carl Nielsen and Louis Glass, he was co-founder of the Danish Chamber Music Society. In this quartet as well as his later music, one can hear the influence of Carl Nielsen, Richard Strauss and Mahler.

This is an approachable modern work which is sure to make a strong impression in concert and can be handled by experienced amateur players.

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

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