earsense
Franz  Berwald
wikipedia

Franz Berwald (1796-1868)


String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat major

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro con brio - Allegro di molto
II. Adagio quasi andante
III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
IV. Adagio
V. Allegro di molto
Composed in 1849, when Berwald was around 53 years old
20 minutes (approximately)
4 recordings, 15 videos
7:39
Fryden Quartet
I. Allegro con brio - Allegro di molto
3:59
Fryden Quartet
II. Adagio quasi andante
3:32
Fryden Quartet
III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
2:24
Fryden Quartet
IV. Adagio
2:07
Fryden Quartet
V. Allegro di molto
6:59
Kyndel Quartet
I. Allegro con brio - Allegro di molto
3:51
Kyndel Quartet
II. Adagio quasi andante
3:27
Kyndel Quartet
III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
4:11
Kyndel Quartet
IV. Adagio
20:29
Saulesco-Kvartetten
8:06
Yggdrasil Quartet
I. Allegro con brio - Allegro di molto
5:09
Yggdrasil Quartet
II. Adagio quasi andante
3:44
Yggdrasil Quartet
III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
2:48
Yggdrasil Quartet
IV. Adagio
2:27
Yggdrasil Quartet
V. Allegro di molto

From Edition Silvertrust:

Franz BerwaldSometime during the 1850’s, a German music critic is reputed to have asked Franz Berwald (1796-1868) if he was still a composer. Berwald stared at him coldly and replied, “No, I am a glass blower.” This was neither a joke nor a sarcastic put-down of the critic by a bitter man whose music had been spurned in his own country and whose career in music had met with failure after failure. Berwald had in fact, at that time, actually been a glass blower! He had become involved with this successful business, and not his first, in order to make a living, something he could not do as a musician. Liszt, whom Berwald befriended in the 1850’s, told him, “You have true originality, bJut you will not be a success in your own lifetime.” Sadly, this prediction proved true. Berwald’s music remained unplayed and for the most part—especially in his native Sweden—unappreciated. Now, nearly a century and half after his death, he has been hailed by critics all over the world as a great Swedish composer. Born in Stockholm in 1796, Berwald was taught the violin by his father, a German who had settled in Sweden and was a member of the court orchestra. Berwald followed in his footsteps.

Berwald's Third String Quartet was not published until nearly 20 years after his death. It is unusual in that it is written as if it were in one movement, but actually upon closer examination one sees there are four movements. However, Berwald links them in a very creative way. The work opens Allegro con brio with a muscular theme which interrupted four times as each of the voices is given a very romantic, short cadenza. The main part of the movement more closely resembles the romantic cadenzas then the stormy opening. The second theme however is turbulent and filled with yearning. A lovely but sad Adagio comes next. It is followed by devilish, whirlwind Scherzo. The finale starts with a long Adagio introduction. The main section, Allegro di molto, is lovely and lilting.

Here is a fine work by the most important Swedish composer of the first half of the 19th century.

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