Bernhard Crusell

Bernhard Crusell (1775-1838)

Nationality: Finnish | Swedish
Born: October 15, 1775, Uusikaupunki, Finland Died: July 28, 1838, Stockholm (age 62)

Flute Quartet in D major, Op. 8 (for flute, violin, viola and cello)

(for flute, violin, viola and cello)
6:45 I. Allegro non tanto
5:45 II. Un poco largo
4:54 III. Menuetto
5:04 IV. Finale
Duration: 23 minutes (approximately)
Published: 1823 (age 47-48)
Note: Composer's arrangement of his own Clarinet Quartet No.3, Op.7
1 recordings, 4 videos
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Mikael Beier, The Copenhagen String Trio
I. Allegro non tanto
Mikael Beier, The Copenhagen String Trio
II. Un poco largo
Mikael Beier, The Copenhagen String Trio
III. Menuetto
Mikael Beier, The Copenhagen String Trio
IV. Finale
From Edition Silvertrust

Bernhard CrusellAlmost all of Bernhard Crussell's compositions include the clarinet. His Quartet for Flute and Strings, Op.8 is an arrangement made by him of his third Clarinet Quartet, Op.7, apparently at the request of the dedicatee Conte Gustave de Loewenhielm, an important French diplomat. It dates from 1823. The work was premiered to acclaim and was performed quite frequently throughout the 19th century. As might be expected, the writing is more advanced coming 20 years after the Second Quartet and can definitely be placed in the early Romantic era. While the clarinet is still primus inter pares, the strings are given a greater role than in the first two quartets. The outer movements have a military flavor and are full of excitement. The slow movement is elaborate and worked out in detail.

Bernhard Crusell (1775-1838) was born in Finland in the largely Swedish speaking town of Nystad (Uusikaupunki in Finnish) Despite his talent, his parents discouraged his interest in music, although he managed to teach himself to play the clarinet by ear. At age 13, he was finally allowed to take lessons from a military band officer in Helsinki. Soon after, he moved to Stockholm and established himself as a soloist, while serving as First Clarinet in the Royal Swedish Court Orchestra). By happy coincidence, the conductor was the German composer Abbé Vogler from whom Crusell started composition lessons, later studying in Berlin and with Gossec in Paris.

The quartet is every bit as effective for flute and strings as it is for clarinet and string. It makes an excellent program choice

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