Franz Krommer

Franz Krommer (1759-1831)

Nationality: Czech | Moravian
Born: November 27, 1759, Kamenice u Třebíče Died: January 8, 1831, Vienna (age 71)

Flute Quartet in F major, Op. 89

(for flute, violin, viola and cello)
9:00 I. Moderato
4:52 II. Minuetto. Allegretto - Trio
7:02 III. Andante con moto
6:50 IV. Alla Polacca
Duration: 28 minutes (approximately)
Published: c. 1818-1820 (age 58-61)
1 recording, 4 videos
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Ensemble Pyramide
I. Moderato
Ensemble Pyramide
II. Minuetto. Allegretto - Trio
Ensemble Pyramide
III. Andante con moto
Ensemble Pyramide
IV. Alla Polacca
From Edition Silvertrust

Krommer’s Flute Quartet No.6 in F Major, Op.89 dates from 1818. It is one of the ironies of history that during his life time, Krommer's string quartets were considered as fine as Haydn's and his string quintets were ranked alongside Mozart's. But since his death, it is primarily his music for winds or winds and strings that gets played. That Krommer, an excellent violinist, knew how to write for winds is evidenced by the fact that he wrote a great deal of tuneful, popular chamber music for wind instruments. For example, he has eleven flute quintets to his credit. The fact that all of these quintets are for flute, one violin, 2 violas and cello is an indication that Krommer viewed these works essentially the same as his string quintets for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello with the flute taking the role of the first violin. Typically, other composers, especially from mid 18th century on, wrote such works for flute, 2 violins, viola and cello with the flute given more or less a solo role. Not Krommer. He integrates the flute into the ensemble just as if it were the first violin, and in fact, the work could be played by a standard string quartet if desired. But the point is that the writing for all of the voices is exceptionally good, much better than one typically finds in such works.

The quartet opens with a charming and genial Moderato brimming with appealing melodies and excitement. A lovely, typical Viennese Menuetto allegretto with trio is placed second. Next comes a lovely Andante con moto, The finale, a jolly Alla polacca, brings this fine work to a close.

Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was born in town of Kamnitz then part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire (today Kamenice in the Czech Republic) A violinist of the first rank, he moved to Vienna in the 1780's and became was one of its most successful composers by the turn of the 18th Century. According to several contemporary sources he was regarded with Haydn as the leading composer of string quartets and as a serious rival of Beethoven. Such was the universal high regard in which he was held that he was appointed Court Composer (Hofmusiker) to the Emperor, Franz I, an enthusiastic quartet player. He was the last composer to hold this august title and one of his duties was accompanying the Emperor on his various campaigns so that he could relax in the evenings playing quartets.

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

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