Carlo Martelli, the composer of this charming chef d’oeuvre, is himself a viola player and was inspired to compose the piece after playing through Dvorak’s Terzetto for the same combination of instruments. For conservatories and professionals.
The Pavão Quartet recorded this work in August 2012 on the CD Carlo Martelli, released in October 2013 by Discadia Records, DISCA 002. Included on the same CD, and also published by Broadbent & Dunn, are Martelli’s String Quartet No. 1, String Quartet No. 2 and Prelude and Fugue for String Sextet.
Review: “After taking part in a performance of Dvorak’s Terzetto for two violins and viola, Martelli was inspired to write for the same instrumental combination. His Terzetto, Op. 5 (1956), is in three compact, unbroken and closely knit movements and benefits from the composer’s previous experience of quartet writing in the cogency of its argument. The opening Allegro Moderato presents two contrasting subjects, the first of which, derived from a prominent theme in the finale of Martelli’s then recently completed Symphony, is tenacious and sharply defined, whilst the second is more flowing and dominated by triplet figurations. Both ideas are developed and appear in combination, generating a substantial climax before the movement closes in a mood of quiet serenity. Following without a break, the central Andante Cantabile is a gentle outpouring of melody introduced by the viola and answered by the first violin. A passage with syncopated accompaniment leads to a central climax. Marked Vivace, the ensuing finale juxtaposes a strongly rhythmical, folk-like principal theme, derived from an idea in the preceding movement, with an upwardly leaping second subject with starkly contrasting dynamics. Three tiny but entirely representative gestures in the closing bar encapsulate the potent concentration and cohesion of the whole piece.” – Paul Conway for Discadia Records, 2013