Heise - String Quartets Vol.1 | Dacapo 8224734

Heise - String Quartets Vol.1


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Label: Dacapo

Cat No: 8224734

Barcode: 0747313693429

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 7th July 2023



Between 1851 and 1857, Peter Heise (1830–1879) wrote six string quartets for the intimate musical soirées of Copenhagen’s refined upper class. Heise was a celebrated and cherished composer in his native Denmark, but his quartets sadly fell into obscurity. In the first installment of their two-part series, the Nordic String Quartet revives these elegantly fluid works with a spacious and lyrical approach, infusing a sensibility attuned to Heise’s distinctive poetic touch.

Even though Peter Heise was one of Denmark’s most popular and beloved composers, his quartets succumbed to a quite exceptional oblivion. The obscurity has lasted until today, and this recording of the first three is a premiere: it is music that has hitherto been virtually unknown.

Peter Heise especially experienced success with his opera Drot og Marsk, arguably the best Danish opera of the 19th century, and his hundreds of very popular songs and romances.

After Heise’s death, they were packed away , probably by his widow to protect his high posthumous reputation. The First String Quartet found itself in a folder labelled ‘Heise’s hand-written music from old times, not to be printed, maybe better burned’.

Through the 1950s, the quartets began circulating and being performed again , but none of them embedded themselves into the repertoire in Denmark, which is quite strange, since there is certainly not an abundance of Danish quartets from the 19th century to compete with.

The String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 are refined, charming works with a humorous character , with elements reminiscent of Schubert, Mozart and Haydn.

No.3 significantly raises the level of ambition and moves away from the entertaining . It is written in a true Romantic fashion, reminiscent of Nordic folk music and Carl Nielsen’s unorthodox style.

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