JERZY FITELBERG (1903-1951): String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, Serenade for Viola and Piano, Sonatine for 2 Violins, Nachtmusik for Clarinet, Cello and Celeste, Op. 9 “Fisches Nachtgesang”.
Catalogue Number: 11R059
Reference: CHAN 10877
Description: Fitelberg, who was forced to flee the Nazis in 1933, first to Paris and then to the USA in 1940, was the son of the better-known Polish conductor (who survived his son by two years). During his brief time in America he was recognised, commissioned and performed by the likes of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation and Isaac Stern, but despite the quality of his prolific output he has largely been forgotten since his death. These chamber works are elegant, tonal and rather conservative, though not unorginal, and the oddly scored study in color, Nachtmusik, is an atmospheric piece of mildly expressionistic experimentation. There are some fleeting jazz allusions in the second quartet (1928), in general the most harmonically advanced work here, its pungent dissonances and ostinato rhythms the composer's most modernist, somewhat Stravinskyan tendencies. The quartet was written in Paris when such trends were in the air, and there are suggestions of Polish folk music in the sprightly miniature first quartet and the marchlike first and last movements of the Sonatine, but overall the impression of the composer's output is of finely crafted neoclassicism with romantic harmonies. ARC Ensemble.