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Leopold Kozeluch

Leopold Kozeluch (1747-1818)

Nationality: Czech | Bohemian
Born: June 26, 1747, Velvary Died: May 7, 1818, Vienna (age 70)

String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 32, No. 3, P.VIII:3

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
8:07 I. Moderato
4:50 II. Adagio
5:00 III. Allegro
Duration: 18 minutes (approximately)
Published: 1790 (age 42-43)
1 recordings, 3 videos
autoopen autoplay
8:07
Stamic Quartet
I. Moderato
4:50
Stamic Quartet
II. Adagio
5:00
Stamic Quartet
III. Allegro
From Edition Silvertrust

Leopold KozeluchLeopold Kozeluch's String Quartet No.3 in E flat Major was the last of a set of three dating from 1788. Kozeluch (1747-1818) (Koželuh in the Czech form) was born in the Bohemian town of Velvary, northwest of Prague. He was baptised Jan Antonín, but changed his name to Leopold to distinguish himself from his cousin, who was Kapellmeister of the famous St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague for almost 3 decades. He studied law in Prague, while continuing his musical studies with his cousin and the famous virtuoso pianist Frantisek Dusek. In 1778, he moved to Vienna, where he briefly studied with Albrechtsberger and then established himself as one of its leading pianists and teachers. After Mozart's death he was appointed Imperial Chamber Conductor and Court Composer. Among his many students were the composer Maria Theresia von Paradis, Archduchess Elisabeth, Empress Maria Theresia's daughter and Marie-Louise, daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz and Napoleon's second wife. Kozeluch was, as were virtually all of his contemporaries, a prolific composer, leaving more than 400 works in every genre, including 6 string quartets. In 1784 Kozeluch founded his own publishing house, the Musikalisches Magazin to publish his own compositions, including the Op.32 quartets.

Charles Burney, the famous 18th century music scholar and critic, had this to say about Leopold Kozeluch's string quartets:

"Kozeluch's string quartets are in general excellent, abounding with solidity, good taste, correct harmony; and the imitations of Haydn are less frequent than in any other master of that school."

String Quartet No.3 in E Flat Major, Op.32 No.3 begins with a Haydnesque Moderato, whose main theme is prosaic but the interest is created by the triplet passages in the first violin whilst the other voices continue on with the main theme. The second subject is more dramatic. The middle movement, Adagio, is, more or less, a long and beautiful solo for the first violin. The supporting voices are not without interest. The buoyant finale, Allegro, has 3 themes and some rather good development sections. The first theme sets the mood for the rest. Our edition, which has rehearsal numbers, is based on the 1790 original by Kozeluch himself. This is an interesting quartet as it is an example of what a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart in Vienna was doing. It is also an appealing work in its own right.

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