František Škroup

František Škroup (1801-1862)

Nationality: Czech | Bohemian
Born: June 3, 1801, Osice Died: February 7, 1862, Rotterdam (age 60)

String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 24

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro animato
II. Andante grazioso
III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
IV. Finale. Allegro appassionato
Duration: 26 minutes (approximately)
Published: 1842 (age 40-41)
Dedication: Ole Bull
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Martinů Quartet
From Edition Silvertrust

František ŠkroupFrantišek Škroup's String Quartet No.1 in F Major dates from dates from the early 1840's and was dedicated to the then famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull whom Škroup got to know when Bull was concertizing in Prague. It is important to keep in mind that Škroup was of the same generation as Rossini and Schubert when considering his style of composition which can be placed as early Romantic. The opening movement, Allegro animato, begins with a lovely melody in the violin but soon quick passages create excitement and forward motion. The second movement is a charming Andante grazioso. Next comes a Scherzo, allegro vivace, which is dominated by its syncopated rhythms. The finale, Allegro appassionato, captivates by virtue of its excitement. The melodic gift the composer is clearly on display and the part-writing leaves little to be desired.

František Škroup (1801-1862) was born in the Czech village of Osice. Initally trained by his father, he was sent to the nearby town of Hradec Králové and then at the age of eleven he moved to Prague where he supported himself as a choir boy and flautist. After studying law, he decided to devote himself to music, becoming a well-known conductor and composer. He held several positions in Prague and later became Music Director of the opera in Rotterdam. While his operas and songs were once often performed, today, his music is all but forgotten except his melody which was used for the Czech national anthem Kde domov můj (My Homeland). He wrote in virtually every genre and was widely considered one of the most important Czech composers of the first half of the 19th century. His chamber music works consist of three string quartets and three trios with piano for various combinations.

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