This is tonal and melodically-centred music expertly laid out
for the medium by a Swiss composer whose reputation was as a conductor.
This is not the
first time Guild have issued a recording of his music. The
present disc is a successor to GMCD7307
(piano trios) and GMCD7237
(Andreae’s songs alongside those by Schoeck, Freund, Bosshart
String Quartet is passionate in the manner of Howells and
Schoeck yet with retrospective classical material as in the
almost Mozartean episodes in the first movement. There’s a
chuckling bonhommie and civilised boulevard culture to be
heard in the Allegretto. This is followed by the heartfelt
melancholic sincerity of the Molto lento. Contrast
is provided by the sunny disposition and positivism of the
Allegro molto. This is feel-good writing recorded in
a resonant and lively acoustic.
The late Flute
Quartet is more rooted in Gallic impressionism mixed with
Mediterranean classical idylls. This is perhaps inevitable
given the flute. It's a warmly-bathed work that revels in
mercurial succulence and in the slow melancholy ecstasy of
The First Quartet
is an indulgently extended piece. It is sophisticated, energetically
impassioned, full of memorable romantic invention and a rapid-pulse
vitality that carries everything before its irresistible bow-wave.
The Langsames zeitmass is harmonically rich and recalls
the gorgeous density of Warlock's writing for string quartet
in The Curlew.
In all of this
there is hardly a shred of Reger's fugal obsessions nor -
pace the line-notes - much in the way of Richard Strauss.
My way-markers for this music are Othmar Schoeck and Herbert
Howells' chamber works of the Great War. If you need further
triangulation points then Josef Suk, Smetana and late Beethoven
can be prayed in aid.