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All Listed Works Edition Silvertrust
Nikolaus Zmeskáll

Nikolaus Zmeskáll (1759-1833)

Nationality: Hungarian
Born: November 20, 1759, Unterkubin Died: June 23, 1833, Vienna (age 73)

String Quartet No. 10 in d minor

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
2:59 I. Allegro
3:16 II. Allegro. Rondeau
Duration: 7 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1790 (age 30-31)
Note: The potential date for this quartet varies: Wikipedia suggests either 1782-1786 or the 1790's. Edition Silvertrust suggests that this might be one of the first quartet dating from the 1770's.
1 recordings, 2 videos
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2:59
Zmeskall Quartet
I. Allegro
3:16
Zmeskall Quartet
II. Allegro. Rondeau
From Edition Silvertrust

Nikolaus Zmeskall Nikolaus Zmeskall (1759-1833) (Mikuláš Zmeškal in the Hungarian form) was one of Beethoven's best, if not his best friend. Zmeskall came from a minor Hungarian noble family and was born in the tiny village of Lestiny in present day Slovakia, then under the control of Hungary. He was sent to Vienna at the age of ten to study at the Theresianum, an elite training school for Austrian civil servants and diplomats. His day job was working in the Hungarian Chancellery in Vienna as a civil servant. His nights were devoted to either playing or going to chamber music concerts, which is how he met Beethoven. Many of Beethoven's chamber music works were premiered in Zmeskall's home and the two became fast friends. Zmeskall was also a reasonably good cellist and from time to time he and Beethoven played together. Beethoven dedicated the Duet for Two Eyeglasses for Viola and Cello for the two of them to play on the occasion of them both needing to wear glasses. He also dedicated his Op.95 "Serioso" String Quartet to Zmeskall. Zmeskall, for his part, often helped Beethoven finding servants, purchasing quills for writing music and many other things. More than 160 letters from Beethoven to Zmeskall have survived.

Zmeskall was also a composer of chamber music and has more than a dozen string quartets to his credit. He began composing quartets as early as 1776 and continued writing them up until about 1810. None were ever published, although four of the later quartets have been recorded from copies made from the manuscripts which exist in the library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde of Vienna. The Quartet in d minor, is one of the earliest, if not the first of these quartets and dates from the late 1770s. In only two movements, Allegro and Rondeau allegro. Given the time, they appear to be the equal of what Mozart and Haydn were doing at that time as well. The Rondeau has a distinct Hungarian flavor.

Our edition is based on a copy of the manuscript and has been prepared by senior editors Garik Hayrapetyan and Raymond Silvertrust. This is a short work of historical interest suitable for amateur players.

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

Related Composers

1800 Nikolaus Zmeskáll (1759-1833) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Friend/Colleague
Nationality: German
Baptized: December 17, 1770, Bonn Died: March 26, 1827, Vienna (age 56)