Hans Gál: Chamber Music, Volume Three


Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op. 13 – II Andante con moto

From Hans Gál: Chamber Music, Volume Three (2018)

Released by Toccata Classics

Hans Gál: Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op. 13 – II Andante con moto

Having made the world premiere recording of Hans Gál’s wonderful Piano Concerto (with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Kenneth Woods) back in 2016, it was a delight to be asked to be part of a first recording of the Piano Quartet (and Violin and Piano Sonatinas) with Hungarian born violinist Katalin Kertész and her ensemble.

Unlike the Concerto, the Quartet is a youthful work, almost certainly dating from 1914 and while comparisons can certainly be drawn with Brahms and Dvorak, Gál already had his own unique musical language.

The Quartet was to be a significant work for Gál romantically. He met his future wife through an informal performance of the piece which she requested, in which he played the cello. Hanna had been captivated by Gál’s music before meeting the man himself – within six months of this performance, they were engaged!

This gently lilting romantic movement, with its strong Eastern European undertones, must have delighted her. Dreamy and evocative in the main, the capricious central section reminds us of Gál’s light-hearted gentle humour which is evident in much of his music.

Sarah Beth Briggs

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