The String Quartet
Friedrich Gernsheim was an experienced composer of a varied oeuvre. Gernsheim completed his String Quartet No 2 in a minor, opus 31 in Rotterdam in 1875, where he worked as a conductor for many years. The melodies of this composition are catchy, have a certain elegance and the mastery of form is immaculate. Gernsheim, like Brahms, understands the art of the compelling presence of bars and the well-known staking out of one’s position regarding form schemes by extracting a variety of variation techniques from the ears.
Gernsheim wrote his String Quartet No 1 in c minor, opus 25 in 1872, when he experienced a difficult time in Cologne. He worked as a conservatory teacher and was also conductor of the Gesangverein (choral society) and the local orchestra in Cologne. Because of anti-Semitic feelings and party politics, he was forced to give up these positions in 1874 and moved to Rotterdam. Fortunately, this did not affect his music. Please note the unpolished Rondo all’Ongarese (Allegro molto vivace). This is the final and is, without a doubt, a homage to Brahms and particularly refers to his First Piano Quartet, opus 25.
Friedrich Gernsheim – String Quartet in a minor, opus 31 (1875)
1. Allegro, 2. Adagio, 3. Molto vivace ed energico – Meno mosso, 4. Allegro molto e molto energico
Performed by: Mandelring Quartet
Friedrich Gernsheim – String Quartet in c minor, opus 25 (1872)
1. Allegro energico, 4. Rondo all’ongarese. Allegro molto vivace
Performed by: Diogenes Quartet
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