Hyperion Records

String Quartet No 2 in A minor, Op 5
composer
1902

Recordings
'Harty: String Quartets & Piano Quintet' (CDA67927)
Harty: String Quartets & Piano Quintet
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67927  2CDs for the price of 1   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details
Movement 1: Allegro ma non troppo
Track 5 on CDA67927 CD1 [7'23] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 2: Vivace sempre leggiero
Track 6 on CDA67927 CD1 [5'44] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 3: Lento
Track 7 on CDA67927 CD1 [7'03] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 4: Allegro con brio – Molto vivace
Track 8 on CDA67927 CD1 [6'13] 2CDs for the price of 1

String Quartet No 2 in A minor, Op 5
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Harty’s String Quartet No 2 in A minor, Op 5, was composed after he moved to London in March 1901. There he rapidly became the capital’s leading accompanist and was in considerable demand by the most prominent soloists of the day, among them Fritz Kreisler, Harry Plunket Greene and Agnes Nicholls (whom he married in 1904). Like the first Quartet, the second was a prizewinner, this time for the Dublin Feis of 1902 where it was successfully premiered on 8 May. Harty was in the audience to hear it played by his friends from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Arthur Darley, P J Griffith, Octave Grisard and Henri Bast. Its second and last hearing was given by four prominent London musicians, Alfred Gibson, Juliet Capron, Alfred Hobday and Helen Trust, on 22 December 1902 at Copped Hall, Totteridge, Hertfordshire, the home of Sir Harold Edwin Boulton, an amateur poet and music-lover.

Revealing a marked advance on the first Quartet, this work, featuring a prominent ‘autobiographical’ viola part, is at once more fluent. The first movement evinces a greater sense of technical mastery of the quartet idiom, a feature, in fact, common to all four movements. The lilting ‘hop jig’ scherzo in 9/8, fertile in its dexterous manipulation of the hemiola, acts as a more vivid contrast with its trio in 2/4, while the slow movement imparts a more convincing sense of balance than its earlier counterpart in the first Quartet, as well as an intensely lyrical and more personal emotionalism at the climax. The imaginative finale, full of rhythmical élan, exhibits perhaps the most intricate writing for the quartet in the whole work, and the more embellished use of the slow movement’s second subject as secondary material is an effective cyclic touch. The appearance of this material in the unexpected and unconventional area of the subdominant reflects Esposito’s influence, but the most unusual introduction of new material—a chorale-like theme in F sharp minor—in the development and the much-truncated recapitulation reveal an entirely maverick streak of Harty’s personality which had been anticipated in the corresponding movement of the F major Quartet.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2012

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67927 disc 1 track 6
Vivace sempre leggiero
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-12-92706
Duration
5'44
Recording date
25 June 2011
Recording venue
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Jeremy Hayes
Recording engineer
Ben Connellan
Hyperion usage
  1. Harty: String Quartets & Piano Quintet (CDA67927)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: May 2012
    2CDs for the price of 1
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