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Franz Krommer

Franz Krommer (1759-1831)

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

String Quintet in G major, Op. 8, No. 3

(for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello)
I. Allegro vivace
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto. Allegretto - Trio
IV. Finale
Published: 1797 (age 37-38)
From Edition Silvertrust

Franz Krommer "Franz Krommer's String Quintets are sure to please those chamber music players seeking something new and fresh from the classical era. They can be recommended for concert performance as well as to amateur enthusiasts."

—the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.

Krommer’s String Quintet in G Major, Op.8 No.3 is the third of a set of six completed in 1797. The Op.8 was his first set of string quintets. They are historically important because they show what an important contemporary of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven was doing. The only Viennese Viola Quintets of any import prior to these were Mozart’s. Haydn never wrote any. Krommer's first set of quintets were composed before Beethoven’s first set of quartets and even before all but one of his string trios. Krommer’s music is original, that is to say, it does not sound like an imitation of Haydn or Mozart, though one can hear their influence as they served as his models. His use of chromaticism is striking and the treatment of the cello is better than Mozart's. Quintet No.3 is in four movements. It opens with an upbeat and genial Allegro vivace. The Adagio which follows is a Haydnesque a theme and set of variations. The third movement, Menuetto allegretto is a typical Viennese quick step Menuet. The finale, though with no tempo marking, is clearly a playful, bustling Rondo, allegro

Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was born in town of Kamnitz then part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire (today Kamenice in the Czech Republic) It had a mixed population of Germans and Czechs and though baptized František Vincenc Kramář by the time he was 15, Krommer began using the Germanized version of his name for the rest of his life, the name by which he became known to the world. Krommer 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 even the United States. According to several contemporary sources he was regarded with Haydn as the leading composer of string quartets and as a serious rival of Beethoven. Krommer was a 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, 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. There are more than 300 compositions which were at one time or another published, much of which is chamber music. He wrote more than 70 string quartets, 35 quintets, perhaps as many as 15 string trios, but also several works for winds and strings.

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

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