Albéric Magnard's father was editor of Le Figaro (the French daily newspaper roughly equivalent to The Wall Street Journal) during the important period of the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
As such, Magnard fils was educated in a rich environment of culture, literature, and ideas, thereby inculcating in him a serious and sober mind of immense gravitas which is explicitly reflected in his art.
Magnard's e-minor String Quartet of 1903 perfectly represents its author's austere and noble ethos.
Magnard's uttrance inflects the Beethovenian vein refracted through the prism of hyper-Romanticism. He wrote five major chamber works, and the Quartet holds an important place in his oeuvre.
It's in four movements and runs approximately :40mins.:
(I)-by turns hysterical, ethereal, and lugubrious, invokes the urgency of Brahms' c-minor Quartet and Schönberg's d-minor Quartet;
(II)-ebullient waltz-like episodes with tasty pizzicato and overall light string writing;
(III)-obliquely lyrical in the early-Schönbergian vein;
(IV)-triumphant, even sprightly, ending lightly with an affirmative note.
Bonus disc also features Faure's airy SQ--the epitome of Parnassian clarity and balance.
Magnard was truly a visionary and talented musician who, had he lived a little longer, would now be considered one of France's greatest artists--and thereby one of Western civilization's great artists.
His demise was absolutely dramatic as his art.
Versions differ slightly, but it seems fairly certain that in the first month of the European General War, just days before the decisive Battle of the Marne (9-15 Sept. 1914), Magnard patriotically assumed the rôle of franc-tireur, shooting with his rabbit-gun at some Germans on his estate north of Paris, and as a result was burnt to death inside his own home (3 Sept. 1914).
Magnard: Symphonies 1-4
Albéric Magnard: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
Alberic Magnard: Sonate pour Violon et Piano, op. 13/Trois Pieces pour Piano, op. 1/En Dieu mon Esperance
Albéric Magnard, Gabriel Fauré: String Quartets
Alberic Magnard | Guillaume Lekeu: Violin Sonatas
Caplet/Magnard: Wind Quintets
Chausson: String Quartets; Roussel: String Quartets [United Kingdom]
Piano Quintet in F Min / Complete String Quartets (1, 2, 3)
Schönberg: STRING QUARTET D MAJOR / STRING QUARTET OP 7