Anton Ferdinand TITZ (1742-1810)
String quartets: (1808); No. 2 in B flat major [19:00] and 3 in E flat major [21:35]; (1781) No. 1 in C major [11:07]; No 2 in A major [15:28];
Hoffmeister Quartet (Christoph Heidemann (violin); Ulla Bundies (violin); Aino Hildebrandt (viola); Martin Seemann (cello)).
rec. Grunewaldkirche Berlin, August 2009

The flood of classical era music revived on CD shows no sign of flagging.

This is the third volume of the Hoffmeister's traversal of the Titz Quartets on Hänssler. Its predecessors are PH 06932 and PH 09046 which I have not heard.

Titz was born in Nuremberg, was lured to St Petersburg to serve alongside a galaxy of genius and talent in the Imperial Court of Catherine The Great and Alexander I. His move was helped along by his unrequited love for one of the Nuremberg girls. Dates are few and far between but there is documentation to support Titz having been a member of the violin section of the St Petersburg Imperial Orchestra. He died in his adopted city in 1810.

His string quartets were published in groups in 1781 (six) and 1808 (three). The Hoffmeister, playing on period instruments, are our reliable and idiomatic guides and advocates for these works. The E flat major is quite a striking work. It at first sounds like a lost quartet by Mozart but then moves into the early romantic lyrical realms also frequented by Schubert. The playing is both lively and patently heartfelt.

This is - across four quartets - pleasing music of no great originality but with a flair for the fluent and the effective. I have mentioned the eminences of Mozart and Schubert. Different as they are I felt that all three quartets were in those tropics. If you thirst for a new vista of eighteenth century string quartets then pilgrims need look no further. Excellent notes by Klaus Harer complete the picture.

Rob Barnett

A flair for the fluent and the effective.