Ferdinand Rebay (1880–1953) is absent from most musical dictionaries, yet was active at one of the most fascinating periods of European music and taught by one of the most respected musicians of the time – Robert Fuchs, at the Vienna Conservatoire. Fuchs was both a composer and a pedagogue, and among his esteemed pupils were Mahler, Wolf, Sibelius, Zemlinsky and Schreker. Fuchs considered Rebay to be one of his best pupils, although the young composer found it impossible to flourish within the environment of the Second Viennese School and continued to work within the late Romantic idiom.
Rebay turned to the guitar due to the influence of his friend Jacobus Ortner, Professor of Guitar at the conservatoire. Aware that the neglect of guitar repertoire for over half a century had led to a decline in the quality of writing for the instrument, Rebay set out to write complex, serious music that continued in the tradition of Giuliani and Sor, who had been composing in the early 1800s. Also influenced by Schubert’s Lieder with guitar, Rebay experimented with song before creating the large-scale works heard on this CD. These compositions exemplify Rebay’s compositional style and principles: the music is innovative and challenging, and the guitar is a fully integrated member of the chamber ensemble, rather than a soloist accompanied by the other instruments.
The neglect of Rebay’s music since his death is due far more to historical circumstances than its quality – he was prevented from working in Nazi Germany due to his attempts to protect his Jewish wife, and his music subsequently fell into obscurity. This new CD is a rare opportunity to hear the work of one of the most exciting rediscoveries in guitar music, played by expert performers.
- World premiere recording, made in 2011.
- An rare and important discovery: 2 quartets (one for guitar and strings, the other featuring the flute) by Ferdinand Rebay, a Viennese composer of the first half of the 20-th century.
- Detailed booklet notes.
Quartet in D Minor for guitar, violin, viola and cello: I. Langsam und leise beginnend - Unruhig bewegt
Quartet in D Minor for guitar, violin, viola and cello: II. Zart und innig (In der Art eines Wiegenliedes)
Quartet in D Minor for guitar, violin, viola and cello: III. Intermezzo a la Scherzo
Quartet in D Minor for guitar, violin, viola and cello: IV. Variationen über das deutsche Volkslied ‘Leid und Lust’: Thema - I. Var.: Sehr ruhig beginnend - II. Var.: Zeitmass des Liedes - III. Var.: Kräftig bewegt - IV. Var.: A la Scherzo - V. Var.: Sehr ruhig und sehr zart - VI. Var.: Gut bewegt, kräftig markiert - VII. Var.: Sehr lebhaft bewegt - Finale: Fughetta
Quartet in A Minor for guitar, flute, viola and cello: I. Ruhig beginnend – Allegro
Quartet in A Minor for guitar, flute, viola and cello: II. Thema mit Variationen: Thema - I. Var.: Ein wenig bewegter - II. Var.: L’istesso tempo - III. Var.: Energisch bewegt - IV. Var.: Sehr ruhig und zart
Quartet in A Minor for guitar, flute, viola and cello: III. Scherzo – Trio
Quartet in A Minor for guitar, flute, viola and cello: IV. Finale