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Joseph Wölfl

Joseph Wölfl (1773-1812)

Nationality: Austrian
Born: December 24, 1773, Salzburg Died: May 21, 1812, London (age 38)

String Quartet in C major, Op. 10, Book 1, No. 1

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
7:36 I. Allegro moderato
8:11 II. Andante
4:07 III. Menuetto. Allegro - Trio
5:27 IV. Allegro
Duration: 25 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1799 (age 25-26)
2 recordings, 5 videos
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Quatuor Mosaïques
I. Allegro moderato
Quatuor Mosaïques
II. Andante
Quatuor Mosaïques
III. Menuetto. Allegro - Trio
Quatuor Mosaïques
IV. Allegro
Authentic Quartet
From Edition Silvertrust

Joseph Wölfl Joseph Wölfl's String Quartet in c minor, Op.4 No.3 is the last of a set of three which date from 1798. They were extraordinarily popular and as a result went through several editions and for good reason: They are clearly written with appealing melodies and good part-writing for all. In the opening movement, Allegro, the main theme is a diffident, somewhat melancholic, syncopated melody which is passed from voice to voice. The canonic second movement, Menuetto, allegretto, begins with the cello presenting the drumbeat like subject. The others in turn join in. The marvelous and deeply felt third movement, Adagio ma non troppo, is of great beauty, A bumptious and energetic finale, Presto, tops off this excellent classical era quartet.

“Wölfl’s string quartets are very accomplished as to style and technique, as one might expect from someone who was a very accomplished musician and who had studied with some of the best teachers of the time.”

The Chamber Music Journal

In fact, when you hear Wölfl’s string quartets it is hard to understand how he has flown under the radar for so long a time. In our opinion they are in a league with those of Haydn and the best of Wranitzky and Krommer. Joseph Wölfl (1773-1812), (the name is often spelled Woelfl) was born in Salzburg. He studied violin, piano and composition there with Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s father) and Michael Haydn (Joseph’s brother). In 1790, he moved to Vienna where it is thought he briefly studied with Wolfgang Mozart. Wölfl became a virtuoso pianist and was sometimes considered to be Beethoven’s equal. It was on Wolfgang’s recommendation the Wölfl was able to procure a position with Count Michal Casimir Oginski as a piano teacher in Warsaw. During the political upheavals in Poland he returned to Vienna and then began a career as a touring concert pianist, eventually settling in Paris (1801-1805) and then London where he spent the rest of his life. Wölfl wrote operas, ballets, symphonies, works for piano, songs and quite a lot of chamber music, including some 25 string quartets, 3 string quintets, 15 standard piano trios and several others for various instrumental combinations with piano. In addition to this, he wrote dozens of sonatas and other works for violin and piano, flute and piano and harp and piano.

We believe this work belongs in the repertoire and makes an excellent alternative to the inevitable Haydn or Mozart, which is why we have gone to the expense and trouble to create a new modern edition which is based on the original. It has been carefully edited by senior editors Garik Hayrapetyan and R.H.R. Silvertrust.

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

Related Composers

1800 Leopold Mozart (1719-1787) Michael Haydn (1737-1806) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Joseph Wölfl (1773-1812) Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Leopold Mozart (1719-1787)
Nationality: German
Born: November 14, 1719, Augsburg Died: May 28, 1787, Salzburg (age 67)
Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
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