Wolf-Ferrari / Quartetto Eos - String Trios Quartets & Quintet | RECORD STORE DAY

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Wolf-Ferrari was a composer of great artistic merit, Italian by nationality but raised in Germany, unfairly forgotten and deserving of rediscovery. His works meld compositional and spiritual elements with a preference for melodic purity and smooth harmonies, a passion for clear and linear forms inspired by Classical-era Vienna, and a meticulous approach. His aversion to complexity and his love of clarity and simplicity - as far removed from the operatic verismo movement as from the experiments of the avant-garde - meant he was, in a certain sense, an isolated figure, yet he knew that, despite the nostalgia in his writing, he had his own vibrant and original voice. His writing for strings displays expert compositional technique and a thorough technical knowledge of the instruments. The youthful String Trio in B minor and the related String Trio in C minor are edited by Luca Incerti based on the manuscript held at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich (Mus. Ms. 21366). The first trio is divided into three movements: Allegro, Larghetto and Scherzo (Allegro vivace). The second trio reuses the opening Allegro (raised to C minor) and Larghetto, adding a different ending in two new movements: Scherzo: Allegro molto and Adagio molto. The String Trio in A minor (Op.32) is divided into three movements - Allegro moderato, Pastorale (Andante tranquillo) and Allegro - and was written in 1945, during the composer's mature period. The String Quartet in A minor was composed in 1894 and has also been edited by Luca Incerti, based on another manuscript held in Munich (Mus. Ms. 23144-2). It comprises four movements: Allegro moderato, Adagio non troppo, Allegro vivacissimo and Allegro assai. The String Quartet in E minor is likewise split into four movements - Allegro, Andante cantabile, Capriccio (Allegro pesante) and Allegro - but it's date of composition is unknown. However, by contrast it certainly stems from Wolf-Ferrari's later years, when all the composer's unique artistic traits came to the fore. As this quartet makes clear, in the context of the early 20th-century avant-garde, Wolf-Ferrari provided an alluring return to Classicism, but it was his own personal interpretation of the style, rather than an attempt to restore it. His neoclassicism appears more modern today than it would have done to his contemporaries. The String Quintet (2 violas) in C is recorded from another Luca Incerti edition, based on individual parts published by Thomi-Berg. It was written in 1942 and therefore belongs to the composer's mature period. It has four movements: Allegro assai quasi presto, Larghetto, Prestissimo, and Molto mosso alla breve.