String Quartet No.3 in B flat Major, Op.1 No.3
Joseph Eybler's String Quartet No.3 in B flat Major is the third of a set which he completed in 1787. Although it bears the Opus number of 1 as do the first two, it is not by any means his first set of works. Things happened earlier back in the 18th century and though he was only 22 at the time the quartets were published, he had several others without opus that had already been published and performed. He was hardly a beginner.
Though unknown today, Joseph Eybler (1765-1846) certainly was well-known in his own time. His friend and teacher Mozart wrote the following letter of recommendation:
“I the undersigned hereby testify that I have found the bearer, Mr. Joseph Eybler, a worthy pupil of his famous master Albrechtsberger, a thorough composer, equally skilled in chamber and church styles, very experienced in compositional technique, as well as an excellent organ and piano player—-in short a young musician such as regrettably has few peers.”
And Eybler's other famous teacher Albrechtsberger wrote: "After Mozart, Eybler is the greatest musical genius to be found in Vienna." The musical talent which so impressed Mozart and Albrechtsberger is on display in Eybler’s Op.1 String Quartets. Although one can hear the influence of both Haydn and Mozart, which is hardly surprising, Eybler's music is nonetheless full of originality. This is illustrated by the fact that the lower voices are treated far more equally than one finds in Haydn from the same period. String Quartet No.3 is the most ambitious and longest of the set. It opens with a charming and genial Allegro. The second movement is dark hued and brooding Adagio. A short, stately, Haydnesque Menuetto comes next. The quartet closes with a spritely, substantial Vivace full of energy.
Like its fellows, this quartet is an excellent choice where a substitute for a Haydn or Mozart work is sought. Amateurs will certainly get enjoyment from a fresh sounding late classical work. Our new edition is based on the 1794 original by Johann Traeg.
Parts & Score: $31.95