Franz Hoffmeister

Franz Hoffmeister (1754-1812)

Nationality: German
Born: May 12, 1754, Rothenburg am Neckar Died: February 9, 1812, Vienna (age 57)

String Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 62

(for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello)
I. Allegro
II. Menuettino. Allegretto
III. Andante sostenuto
IV. Allegro molto
Composed: c. 1784 (age 29-30)
From Edition Silvertrust

Franz Anton Hoffmeister Franz Anton Hoffmeister's String Quintet in B flat Major, Op.62 dates from around 1784. Some scholars believe that this work served as the model for Mozart’s string quintets of 1787, i.e. K.515 and K.516. It begins with a tuneful Allegro which alternates a lyrical theme with faster episodes. Next comes what Hoffmeister called a Menuettino, a little like a minuet and not a little minuet. It shows the influence of Haydn. The third movement an Andante sostenuto, though not so marked is a theme and set of variations. The exciting finale is Mozartian, perhaps more accurately a Hoffmeisterian, since this quintet precedes Mozarts 4 mature quintets, is an Allegro molto.

Today, the name of Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) lives on only because of his close friendship with Mozart, who named his K.499 D Major string quartet after him in recognition of all the money Hoffmeister had given him. Few people are also aware that he became a famous music publisher, his firm known to us today as Edition Peters. Hoffmeister arrived in Vienna at age 14 from western Germany where he had intended to study law. Like so many before and after him, he was lured away by the siren song of music. He decided on a career as a composer and, like most of his contemporaries, was a prolific one. We know from contemporary accounts that his music was held in high regard and those who have had the opportunity to play or hear it usually agree that there is much of value to be found therein. He is thought to have composed at least 34 string quartets and seven string quintets along with many other chamber works.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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