Erwin Schulhoff String Quartet no. 2. (part 1). Stamic Quartet live at Levoca
Born to a Jewish family in Prague dedicated to music, Schulhoff (1894-1942) soon started on a brilliant career as composer and pianist. Radicalised by his army service after the First World War, he became an enthusiast for jazz, Schoenberg and Communism -- even at one stage setting the Communist Manifesto as a cantata. Having obtained Soviet citizenship, he hoped to evade the Nazis after their takeover of Czechoslovakia, but was arrested and died of tuberculosis in Wülzberg Concentration Camp in 1942. The Second Quartet, dating from 1925, displays the composer's striking musical personality.
The first three movments (in this video) are I. Allegro agitato -- II. Tema con variazioni: Moderato -- III. Allegro gajo. An urgent first movement is followed by a set of variations which evidence jazz and folksong as well as a neo-classical lyricism. The third movement, marked 'gajo' ('blithe') is just that.
The fourth movement from this performance, given by the Stamic Quartet at the 2010 'Indi