Leonhard von Call

Leonhard von Call (1767-1815)

Nationality: Austrian
Born: March 19, 1767, Eppan Died: February 19, 1815, Vienna (age 47)

String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 141

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro
II. Thema [con variazioni]
III. Menuetto - Trio I - Trio II
IV. Rondo. Moderato
Published: c. 1817
From Edition Silvertrust

Leonhard von Call's String Quartet No.3 in F Major of Leonhard von Call is the last of a set of three quartets which were published shortly before his death by the Vienna firm of Carl Haslinger, although most scholars seem to think the quartets were composed around 1800 but only given to Haslinger at a later date after von Call's chamber music with guitar had become popular. The Quartet is representative of the typical Vienna Classical Style. Of particular note is the generous treatment of the cello. Not many works from this period did this. In four movements, beginning with a stately, Allegro, but slowly the tempo picks up. The second movement is a theme and set of six variations. Next comes a charming Menuetto with two trios. The work concludes with an appealing Rondo, moderato.

Leonhard von Call (1767-1815) was born in the town of Eppan in South Tirol, then part of the Austrian Empire, and since 1919 in northern Italy. Although he studied music as a boy and became a virtuoso on the guitar and mandarin, composing, teaching and performing was something he did as an avocation. He served as an officer in the Austrian army during the war against the French Republic and was ennobled for bravery. The rest of his life, he worked as an official in the Imperial Treasury in Vienna. In his spare time, he composed and became a much sought after teacher. Most of his compositions were for chamber ensembles, the bulk of which involved the guitar. He was a prolific composer and is thought to have composed more than 200 works. Most of these were designed for amateurs and home music making rather than virtuoso players and for this reason as well as the fact that he had a gift for writing very appealing melodies, his works achieved tremendous popularity during the first part of the 19th century.

We were fortunate to obtain a very pristine copy of the first, and probably only, edition and have reprinted it. Historically valuable, and like the quartets of Krommer and the Wranitzky brothers, it gives a good idea of what the contemporaries of Haydn and Mozart were producing. The target audience of much of von Call's music was home music makers and amateurs, in particular, will want to have a chance to play this appealing and effective work.

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