Movement 1: Adagio – Allegro appassionato
Movement 2: Andante sostenuto – Allegro
Movement 3: Allegro
In 1850 Bargiel returned to Berlin and soon gained a reputation as both a teacher and a composer. In 1859 he became Professor of Theory at the Cologne Conservatoire and then in 1865 Kapellmeister and Director of the institute of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering van Toonkunst in Rotterdam. Joseph Joachim appointed him Professor of Composition at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik in 1874 and the following year he became a member of the senate of the Academy of Arts. During his lifetime his music was widely performed. His overtures Prometheus and Medea were heard at the Crystal Palace in the 1860s and were highly thought of. Wilhelm Altmann, writing of Bargiel in 1928 in Cobbett’s Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music, points out that ‘it is evident from his works that he was an adherent of Robert Schumann’ and suggests that ‘his chamber music, though it sounds extremely well, has been undeservedly neglected of late’. (Hopefully, this recording of the Octet should help to change that state of affairs.) Woldemar Bargiel died on 23 February 1897.
from notes by Peter Avis © 2000