String Quartet in F Major, Op.10 No.1--New Edition
"The Op.10 No.1 String Quartet in F Major was the first of a set of three composed by Krommer in 1796 and published in 1797 by the German publisher Andre. In four movements, the opening Allegro moderato begins in genial fashion with the violin presenting a naďve melody over the cello’s rhythmic eighth notes. Soon triplet passages in all of the voices pick up the pace. There is no slow movement, instead Krommer substitutes an Allegretto. Again, the opening is simplicity itself, then more dramatic episodes follow recalling Mozart. A Haydnesque Minuetto allegro comes next. Short and to the point, no surplusage, not a note is wasted. The finale, a Rondo, is an orderly and typical polonaise. As was usual with Krommer from his first period, the violin is given the lead for a substantial time. But when the other voices take a bigger role, the pitch of excitement rises. This is a good program substitute choice for Haydn or Mozart and good for amateurs too."---The Chamber Music Journal
Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was born in town of Kamnitz then part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire (today Kamenice in the Czech Republic) It had a mixed population of Germans and Czechs and though baptized František Vincenc Kramář by the time he was 15, Krommer began using the Germanized version of his name for the rest of his life, the name by which he beame known to the world. Krommer 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.
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, 26 quintets, perhaps as many as 15 string trios, but also several works for winds and strings. Of the string quartets, the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann, in his Handbook for String Quartet Players writes, “Krommer knew how to write for string instruments and as a result what he wrote sounds brilliant.” Among his dozens of quartets, Altmann singles out Krommer’s Op.24 as particularly fine and effective. He considered them on a par with those of Haydn and noted that each of the instruments is given grateful parts and solos, and violinists in particular can always learn something from playing the works of Krommer.
It's a shame that fresh-sounding works like this are never heard in concert where they are sure to please audiences. And amateurs will wonder why they haven't had a chance to play such pleasant music from the classical era before now. Our new edition is based on the 1797 Andre.