Franz Krommer

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Oboe Quartet No.1 in C Major

"Krommer's Oboe Quartet No.1 in C Major, of those composed in the last part of the 18th century, stands at the very front of the best written at that time.”—The Chamber Music Journal


Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was one of the most successful composers in Vienna at the turn of the 18th Century. His reputation was attested to by the fact that his works were frequently republished throughout Germany, England, France, Italy, Scandinavia and even the United States. According to several contemporary sources he was regarded with Haydn as the leading composer of string quartets and as a serious rival of Beethoven. Krommer was a violinist of considerable ability who came to Vienna around 1785. For the following 10 years he held appointments at various aristocratic courts in Hungary. He returned to Vienna in 1795 where he remained until his death, holding various positions including that of Court Composer (Hofmusiker) to the Emperor, Franz I, an enthusiastic quartet player. He was the last composer to hold this august title and one of his duties was accompanying the Emperor on his various campaigns so that he could relax in the evenings playing quartets. There are more than 300 compositions which were at one time or another published, much of which is chamber music. He wrote more than 70 string quartets, 35 quintets, perhaps as many as 15 string trios, but also several works for winds and strings.


Krommer composed three quartets for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello sometime between 1780 and 1790. As was typical for the time, they were intended as a vehicle for the wind instrument and the oboe is given the lead throughout although there are many instances where the violin takes over. It is clear that Krommer had accomplished players, certainly as far as the oboe and violin parts are concerned, in mind. The opening movement is a gorgeous Allegro full of singing melody. A middle movement, an Adagio, begins with the violin giving forth the beautiful first theme in its entirety. Finally, the oboe joins in and the two sing a wonderful duet. A lively, playful Rondo caps this fine work.


Here is a work which should interest both professionals and experienced amateurs alike.


Parts: $18.95


Parts & Score: $24.95




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