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Franz Krommer

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String Quartet in G Major, Op.10 No.3--New Edition

"Franz Krommer's Op.10 No.3 in String Quartet in G Major was last of a set of three published in 1797 by the German publisher Andre. In four movements, it opens with an engaging Allegro moderato in typical Krommerian style with the cello bringing forth the first part of the main theme which is finished off by the first violin. A dialog between the two follows throughout this charming movement. Next comes a march-like Menutto allegro which is quite unusual. In the trio section, the cello and first violin cleverly answer each other. An Andante serves as the slow movement and proceeds in halting fashion, creating a continual sense of unrest. The finale, a Rondo, is another of Krommer’s very appealing, top-tapping movements, which tops off a pleasant and effective work."---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. 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.

 

Here is another engaging, fresh-sounding and appealing, which would make a great program choice as an alternative to the inevitable Haydn or Mozart. Our new edition is based on the 1797 Andre. Both professionals and amateurs will find this a worthwhile work.

 

Parts: $24.95

 

              

 

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