1939 Aloys Fleischmann

Premier of the Piano Quintet by Aloys Fleischmann
Performed by the Kutcher String Quartet with Tilly Fleischmann at the Piano.
April 28th 1939 at Clarence Hall, Imperial Hotel, Cork.


This was most probably the last new composition that the Kutcher String Quartet premiered before they disbanded the following year.

Before the Concert,  Aloys,and his mother Tilly who was to play the piano, went to London  to rehearse with the Kutcher Quartet. The Quintet was to be part of a program of music celebrating the inauguration of the  Cork Orchestral Society.

There was a warm exchange of letters (reproduced below) just before and after the concert between Samuel and Aloys, with both being delighted with the rehearsals, the concert and the warm reception each received on their respective visits. Aloys asked if he could dedicate the Quintet on publication to the Kutcher Quartet, which Samuel readily agreed to.

Letter from Aloys to Samuel Oct 15th 1938 


Letter from Aloys to Samuel Jan 24th 1939 


Letter from Aloys to Samuel April 15th – Page 1 

Page 2 

Letter from Aloys to Samuel May 1st 1939


Transcript of letter from Samuel to Aloys May 3rd 1939

Letter from Aloys to Samuel March 1940 

In 1990 Aloys gave a short speech before a performance of  the Piano Quintet  by the Vanbrugh Quartet (who also recorded the works)  in which he describes the Kutcher Quartet as ‘ the best English quartet of that time’.   Aloys recollected  there being an adverse reaction to the Quintet,  but  two newspaper  reviews on a broadcast that followed shortly afterwards  were actually quite positive.

From the  Irish Independant  of May 1939  by Harold White. ‘The work is modern in feeling though not extravagantly so.  I felt the Andante had movements (sic) of expansive thematic treatment, but at times grew restless for no particular reason.  The Scherzo has distinct merit. It has a certain dry humour, and its economic and characteristic use of the piano against the pizzicato strings is very effective. Mr. Fleischmann’s knowledge of the technique of the instruments and his appreciation of tone colour reveal a composer who has remarkable talent. The finale had rather a preponderance of piano tone, and this suggested the medium of the orchestra rather than chamber music. The performance of Madame Fleischmann was flawless, and the superfine playing of the Kutcher combination gave a worthy interpretation of a work of distinct character and merit.’

From the Musical Times ‘Wireless Notes’ Review May 1939 by W. R. Anderson

In the leaflet announcing the Concert encouraging people to subscribe to the Society  it noted that ‘ some seven years ago, the Kutcher Quartet performed in Cork with outstanding success, and the reappearance  here of one of the finest English ensembles should be especially welcome.

In 1932 the Kutcher Quartet had indeed been to Ireland, February in Dublin, and  November in Cork  accompanied by Tilly Fleischmann on the piano.

Irish Times 22 Feb 1932 

The Kutcher String Quartet in Dublin



Cork College  Concert Programme March 1932

Cork Examiner 8 Nov 1932  review of Concert


2 Responses to 1939 Aloys Fleischmann

  1. Anonymous says:

    How wonderful to see all the information about Aloys Fleischmann’s Piano Quintet so well presented here on the site: the family is delighted that letters have been discovered of which we had no copy and which are of much interest to us. Thank you Jeff! Ruth Fleischmann

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