Once again I am indebted to Seattle’s classical music station, KING-FM, for introducing me to a composer, Karl Goldmark, whose music was previously unknown to me. The first piece of his that I heard was his Violin Concerto in A minor, and I remember thinking at the time, “This is major. Why haven’t I heard it before?” The second was the suite for piano and violin presented below, and the most recent was his Piano Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 30.
A contemporary of Brahms and Wagner, Goldmark was born in Keszthely, Hungary in 1830 and died in Vienna in 1915, a lifespan that coincides nicely with the Romantic period in music. During his lifetime, he was best known for the first of his seven operas, The Queen of Sheba, but the list of his published works extends through Op. 54, and includes two symphonies, the aforementioned violin concerto, and a considerable amount of lieder, piano, chamber, and choral music.
It is one of Goldmark’s chamber works that I want to feature on this post, his Suite in E major for Piano and Violin, which dates from 1869. Unfortunately, there is no video of this glorious performance by Janos Maté and Kazuko Nakagawa, but the sound quality in this recording is outstanding.
Why Goldmark isn’t better known is a mystery to me. His music – the little that I have heard, at least – seems at least as important as the music of many composers whose music is heard more often. This post is my small attempt to rectify that injustice.