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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  CD

Catalogue Number:  8.224048

Barcode:  0730099974820

Release Date:  Jan 2000

Period:  Late Romantic


GLASS, Louis: String Quartets

20 July 2011  American Record Guide
Carl Bauman

Louis Glass (1864-1936) was a Danish contemporary of Carl Nielsen, but he shows much influence from Anton Bruckner and Cesar Franck. He was fortunate to be the son of a composer and piano teacher and early became fascinated by music. He was introspective and isolated. He later studied with Niels Gade, who had a great influence on him. In 1884 he had the chance to move to Brussels where the conservatory gave him a more varied training, though quarrels led to his leaving. He continued studying piano with Josef Wieniawski. By the 1890s he was very active in Copenhagen's musical life. The composer's four quartets were almost entirely neglected, both during his lifetime and since, despite his having a strong affinity for the cello, which he studied extensively. The two we have here are the 1929 revision of the Third and the Fourth of 1907. Both are extensive. The Third lasts nearly 33 minutes and the Fourth over 45 minutes. "Upon first hearing, they seem quiet and pleasant, but with second and third hearings they grow on you. The string writing may be quiet, but it is very subtle. Often the cello takes the lead-not surprising. The Fourth has a 12-minute slow movement, the center of gravity of the work. All in all these make an impressive pair of unknown works. The release is strong in all respects. The performances are strong and well recorded. The notes are excellent. Recommended to those who want to explore the little-known musical byways of a century ago.

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