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All Listed Works Edition Silvertrust
Franz Krommer

Franz Krommer (1759-1831)

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

String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 5, No. 3

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto. Allegretto
IV. Rondo
Published: 1796 (age 36-37)
From Edition Silvertrust

Franz Krommer's String Quartet in B flat Major, Op.5 No.3 was composed in 1795. Krommer's life spanned the Mannheim, Vienna Classical and early Romantic periods and his music evolved over time. Op.5 No.3 is a work from his early period and the third of what became a famous set of three and by all accounts his 9th string quartet. Unlike the first quartet of the set, which follows the Mannheim pattern of three movements—–Fast, Slow, Fast—this quartet follows Vienna Classical Pattern pioneered by Haydn and followed by Mozart and has four movements. It begins with a stately Allegro with the cello given the lovely main theme. Soon the violin takes it. As the rhythm changes the tempo picks up. The quartet goes in and out of concertante style, wherein one instrument will have a solo while the others play straight forward accompaniment. But at other times it uses a Haydnesque treatment of harmony. The solos are particularly fine, each with beautiful and fresh-sounding melodies. The overall effect is, as Altmann put it, brilliant. Next comes a fetching Adagio in which the first violin sings a medley of charming melodies. Later, the second violin takes over, then the cello and viola get their turns. This is followed a typically Viennese Menuetto, allegretto. If you had to guess, you would probably say, Haydn and written it. The finale, a rousing, toe tapping Rondo brings this fine work to a close

Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was one of the most successful composers in Vienna at the turn of the 18th Century. His reputation was attested to by the fact that his works were frequently republished throughout Germany, England, France, Italy, Scandinavia and the U.S. According to contemporaries, he was regarded along with Haydn as the leading composer of string quartets and as a serious rival of Beethoven. Krommer was a Czech violinist of considerable ability who came to Vienna around 1785. For the following 10 years he held appointments at various aristocratic courts in Hungary. He returned to Vienna in 1795 where he remained until his death, holding various positions including that of Court Composer (Hofmusiker) to the Emperor, Franz I. There are more than 300 compositions which were at one time or another published, much of which is chamber music.

This popular quartet went through many editions and was often programmed in concerts throughout the 19th century. Our new edition is based on the 1820 third edition by Andre of Offenbach and makes an excellent program choice where a fresh and appealing work from the classical era is required. And, it is a work which can be warmly recommended to amateurs as well.

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

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