Sergei Taneyev

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915)

Nationality: Russian
Born: November 25, 1856, Vladimir-na-Klyaz′me Died: June 19, 1915, Dyud′kovo (age 58)

String Quartet No. 7 in E-flat major

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
13:11 I. Allegro
11:48 II. Adagio cantabile
4:28 III. Scherzo
10:13 IV. Finale. Allegro molto
Duration: 40 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1880 (age 23-24)
Published: 1952
1 recording, 4 videos
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Taneyev Quartet
I. Allegro
Taneyev Quartet
II. Adagio cantabile
Taneyev Quartet
III. Scherzo
Taneyev Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro molto
From Edition Silvertrust

Sergei Taneyev's String Quartet No.7 in E flat Major is the first of three string quartets he composed between 1880 and 1885 and before he wrote his String Quartet No.1. These three quartets, wonderful though they are, were never published during his lifetime. A score was published as part of a book of his unpublished works in 1952. Parts were made by a copyist from the score and circulated but neither the parts nor the score were ever commercially published until now. The genial opening movement, though marked Allegro, is more moderato than allegro, with its very romantic themes, showing the influence of his teacher Tchaikovsky. The emotional center of gravity can be found in the massive slow movement, Andante espressivo. Mostly calm and introspective, the movement is not without passionate outbursts of emotion. The third movement is an explosive Scherzo, presto, enclosed both in the beginning and the end by a poignant Andante. The finale, Presto, bustles along, dominated more by its rhythms than the melodic material.

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915) is one of the greatest Russian composers from the last half of the 19th and early 20th centuries and probably, from this group, the one whose music is the least known in the West. Taneyev came from an aristocratic family that patronized the arts and when Sergei's talent became apparent, his father sent him to the newly opened Moscow Conservatory at the age of 10. His main teachers there were Nicolai Rubinstein for piano and Tchaikovsky for composition. Although he became a brilliant pianist, Taneyev opted for a career as a composer and teacher and soon became a professor at the Conservatory. His fame both as a teacher and as a composer quickly spread. Among his many students were Glière, Rachmaninov, Gretchaninov, Scriabin and Medtner. In Russian concert halls, one always finds a bust of Taneyev alongside those of Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Sadly, the fame of this outstanding composer has not spread beyond his homeland. Influenced by Tchaikovsky, Taneyev preferred to write "pure" music rather than Russian-sounding or so-called "nationalistic" music based on Russian folk melodies. As such, he remained outside of the famous Nationalist School headed by Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and his music sounds markedly different from that of Rimsky and his famous students such as Borodin and Glazunov.

Our world premiere edition was made from the score by our senior editors Tomasz Golinski and Raymond Silvertrust. This is a very interesting and historically valuable work in that it shows us the early work of by what was Tchaikovsky's finest student. We are pleased to have made this work available and warmly recommend it to your attention.

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

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