Robert Schumann » String Quartets » Heckmann, Robert - Pohle
Robert Heckmann was leader of an admired quartet, based in Cologne, which also travelled widely, visiting Britain several times in the 1880s and early 1890s. Heckmann worked closely with Grieg on the preparation of his String Quartet op. 27 and received its dedication. (See Bjarne Kortsen 'Grieg's String Quartet and Robert Heckmann' Music and Letters 49(1968), 21-28.)
The quartet's performances of Schumann were admired. In 1885 The Musical World (63. 10, Mar. 7, p. 154) commented that 'scarcely had [they] played the opening bars of Schumann's Quartet than something out of the ordinary playing made itself felt, the fire and precision, together with the knowledge of what one instrument expected its neighbour to do in poetry, made everything more or less satisfactory [...] Herr Heckmann, at all events, proved himself a governor of versatility, which nothing could exhibit to better advantage than the works just named.' And in 1888 the same journal (68. 48, Dec. 8, p. 931) praised their performance of Schumann's quartet op. 41 no. 3 as 'played with those wonderful nuances and that intelligence of phrasing which have made the Heckmann Quartet famous.'
In its detailed fingering and bowing markings, Heckmann's edition of the Schumann String Quartets op. 41 stands in sharp contrast to Hermann's edition of them. His markings conjure up a vivid impression of the style of performance in which his quartet must have performed the works at that time. They also reveal a close correspondence with early recordings by the Klingler Quartet and even, as late as the 1930s, with those of the Prague Quartet. This is noticeable in bowing style and also the employment of portamento.
Unusually for a quartet edition at this period, all four parts are marked with similar attention to detail. Even though no additional musician is named, the cello part includes a substantial number of fingerings where expressive gestures are expected.
The three quartets were published separately with consecutive plate numbers.
|Date||1887 (January) [Source: Hofmeister - March 1887]|
|Instrumentation||String Quartet – 2 Violins · 1 Viola · 1 Cello|
|Part||Plate No.||Medium||Annotations||Musical Text(s)|
|Vl1||682 (op.44 no.1)||Printed||Printed|
|Vl1||683 (op.44 no.2)||Printed||Printed|
|Vl1||684 (op.44 no.3)||Printed||Printed|
|Vl2||682 (op.44 no.1)||Printed||Printed|
|Vl2||683 (op.44 no.2)||Printed||Printed|
|Vl2||684 (op.44 no.3)||Printed||Printed|
|Vla||682 (op.44 no.1)||Printed||Printed|
|Vla||683 (op.44 no.2)||Printed||Printed|
|Vla||684 (op.44 no.3)||Printed||Printed|
|Vlc||682 (op.44 no.1)||Printed||Printed|
|Vlc||683 (op.44 no.2)||Printed||Printed|
|Vlc||684 (op.44 no.3)||Printed||Printed|