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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Josef Bohuslav Foerster's Surprised-By-Beauty Music

Merry Tenth Day of Christmas to You!

…Here's my latest personal discovery: The music of Josef Bohuslav Foerster. So good are his string quartets, he is a lock for inclusion in “Surprised by Beauty III” on their strength alone. (Assuming we ever shift enough copies of Surprised by Beauty II not to be stuck with a big fat loss; sales being currently at an underwhelming 1100 books.) Back to J.B.Foerster: Born in 1859 in an Austrian Empire’s Prague, he would be on the old side of composers included in SBB which, very roughly, deals with composers of the 20th century and beyond. After all, it’s a “Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music”. But Foerster lived until 1951, which puts him well within our range. And the majority of his five string quartets were written in the 20th century, after all…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Josef Bohuslav Foerster's Surprised-By-Beauty Music

available at Amazon
Josef Bohuslav Foerster,
The Complete String Quartets, String Quintet et al.,
Stamic Quartet,


Tom Guidera said...

Hello, Jens F. Laurson,

Thank you so much for the introduction to Foerster's string quartets. After only one traversal of the two discs I'm convinced that this music I'll visit many times. The notes included (which I haven't read yet) may satisfy my curiosity about his biography but why was he more or less unknown to us?

I wonder if you're aware of Jerzy Fitelberg (1903 - 1951), another "unknown." You'll notice that he died in the same year Foerster did. His chamber music is well beyond the Romantic; declared depraved by the Führer even. I have listened to a release on Chandos and performed by the ARC Ensemble several times. (Although now that Foerster is here, he may be retired for a week or two.)

Best wishes, and keep up the great work. Oh, and I will order my Surprised By Beauty this morning. Thank you.

jfl said...

Hello Tom Guidera,

thanks much for the comment, thanks more still for the kind words, and thanks a TON for ordering that copy of Surprised by Beauty. With sales like ours, even one copy seriously moves the needle... and we might get closer to the publisher's goal that we had to agree to being sold, on way or the other. :-)

I'm only in the faintest manner familiar with the name "Fitelberg" -- but not at all with his work. Good to have him on my radar... and if the ARC Ensemble has recorded him, I'll hope to get my ears around it before long!

All the best & thanks again,