Alexander von Zemlinsky
Two Movements for String Quintett d Minor (1894/96)
»...mein Saitenspiel« for two violins, two violas and violoncello (2010/11)
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
String Quintett No. 2 B-Dur op. 87 (1845)
In 2010, a thirty-year-old composes a string quintet. It has four movements, following the First Viennese School, and it carries a title that harks back to Gustav Mahler, his tenth symphony and the trials of love (in Mahler’s case, the love for his wife Alma who cheated on him with Walter Gropius). This work is a tribute to grand traditions in music, a work whose focus lies much more on achieving a rich variety of colours than on pushing experimental boundaries – and a work that clearly shows the influence on Robert Krampe by his mentor, Hans Werner Henze.
Alexander von Zemlinsky, too, had fallen for Alma Schindler who at the time was said to be the most beautiful woman in Vienna. »I want you – with every atom of my feelings,« were the yearning words of the thirty-year-old Zemlinsky who soon became more than just Alma’s composition teacher, and who was later dropped by her, as were many men after him. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s second string quartet was written around the same time as his famous violin concerto and is one of the most significant contributions to this ensemble genre.