Piano Quartet in C Major, Op. 23
Nocturne and Scherzo for Flute & String Quartet
String Quartet #1 in G minor, Op. 4
James Barbagallo, piano
Jeani Muhonen Foster, flute
Da Vinci Quartet
Naxos 8.559014 71:05
Foote, American born and American trained, still was firmly rooted in the European Romantic period. His cheerful and rich melodies pour out in this chamber music.
His most famous and understandably most popular work in its day is the haunting Nocturne and Scherzo for Flute and String Quartet. Foote's biographer, Nicolas E. Tawa, (Arthur Foote: A Musician in the Frame of Time and Place) quoted in the liner notes, said this piece "makes a statement that is benevolent and compassionate, rather than passionate". This is an excellent observation and also holds true especially for the second movement of the gorgeous Piano Quartet.
Foote follows in the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann in his chamber music writing, (although in the Piano Quartet there are moments that are also reminiscent of Dvořák's American Quartet). There is a modal theme in the last movement, described as a hymn-tune, used as contrast with the march-like first theme.
The String Quartet No. 1 is pure pleasure!