commentary to opus 3

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String Quartet No. 1, op. 3 (1951)

I. Allegro

II. Andante religioso

III. Scherzo

IV. Finale


First Performance: July, 9, 1951, Freiburg, Kaufhaussaal
Gisela Wilhelmi, Edith Klein, Emil Maas, Bertold Hummel

Duration: 16 Minutes

Publisher: N. Simrock Hamburg-London (Boosey & Hawkes) ISMN M221121073



In his 1st String Quartet, the 26 year old Bertold Hummel shows himself to be already a highly inventive musician capable of expressing vitality and passion in an artistically shaped composition. One cannot fail to notice in its four movements his youthful enthusiasm for Hindemith and Bartok.
Variable metres, dance fragments and, above all, the Gregorian chant heard in the 2nd movement point the way to later major works. The available techniques of the different stringed instruments are very familiar to him as a cellist and are used effectively in the powerful forward motion of the piece.
This carefully researched edition by Simrock will be a real discovery for inquiring chamber musicians and concert organisers. Of medium difficulty.


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