Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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ARTHUR FOOTE (18.53-1937) Chamber Music Vol. 1  James Barbagallo (piano) Da Vinci Quartet Lamont School of Music, Denver, Colorado, 27-30 August, 11-14 December 1995 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559009 [75.58]

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Piano Quintet (1897)

String Quartet No 2 (1893)

String Quartet No 3 (1911)

Foote is one of a number of classic American nineteenth century composers.

The Piano Quintet has a Brahmsian dash in the first movement while the allegretto second movement is sheerly delightful in a Dvorákian way. There is a whirlwind scherzo and then another Dvorákian movement to round things off. The second quartet opens with an allegro giocoso of eventide brilliance succeeded by a Mendelssohnian Scherzo, some pleasing variations and a finale that harks back to the Bach double violin concerto.

The third quartet is dedicated to Frederick Stock (who championed Foote's work in Chicago) and although Dvorák is once again a presence in the music there are many tart and unusual harmonies perhaps reaching outwards towards the richness of the Franz Schmidt string quartets. The second movement buzzes delicately but the third movement is rather conventional succeeded by a finale of Janacekian lyricism.

Good music neglected for no reason other than laziness and a prejudice against a home-grown product. In England we can view Foote through a range-finder which (locally) also takes in Stanford and Parry.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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