String Quintet No.29 in E flat Major, Op.107 No.3 for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Violoncello
"Franz Krommer's String Quintets are sure to please those chamber music players seeking something new and fresh from the classical era. They can be recommended for concert performance as well as to amateur enthusiasts."---the famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann writing in his Chamber Music Handbook.
String Quintet No.29 in E flat Major dates from 1825. The marking to the first movement, Allegro spirituoso, perfectly describes the mood. Opening with three big chords which lead to sections of exciting drama full of forward motion and appealing melody. The second movement, Andante, though not so marked is a theme and set of variations. The cello alone, but accompanied by the 2nd viola, gives forth the theme. The variations which follow are interesting and effective. A clever Minuetto, making excellent use of all five voices, and a lyrical trio come next. The dashing finale recalls the finale to Mozart's K.387 String Quartet. The theme first presented in unison is then reproduced in canonic fashion as the music gradually picks up speed and excitement.
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.
We have reprinted the original edition but have added rehearsal letters.