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Wellesz String Quartets 3, 4 and 6



Winner of the Midem Classical Award for 'First Recording' 2009

Egon Wellesz was born in Vienna into an affluent family of Jewish origins. Encouraged by his parents and by decisive encounters with Gustav Mahler’s performances of the operatic and symphonic repertoire, he chose a musical career and studied musicology with Guido Adler at the University of Vienna, graduating Ph.D in 1908 with a thesis on the 18th-century Viennese composer Giuseppe Bonno. He also privately studied harmony and counterpoint (though not, in fact, composition) with Arnold Schoenberg in 1904-5. Although often classed with his fellow-pupils Alban Berg and Anton Webern as a member of the ‘Second Viennese School’, Wellesz did not remain so long with Schoenberg. He was in fact the first of Schoenberg’s pupils to gain independent success as a composer, receiving a contract from the publishers Universal Edition before Bartók, Berg or Webern did, which helped him remain semi-detached from the Schoenberg circle. He studied many other contemporary composers and as a result Schoenberg and he were on somewhat uneasy terms, though Wellesz’s admiration for his former teacher was unstinting and in 1921 he wrote the first book-length study of Schoenberg, which its subject considered excellent ...

Wellesz String Quartets 3, 4 and 6