In E flat Major
in G Major
In C maor
Three String Quintets, Op.2 Nos.1-3
For 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello
Josef Mysliveček (1737–1781) was born in Prague and like his father before him became a master miller before studying music with a number of teachers, first in Prague and then in Venice. Unlike most composers of that era, Mysliveček refused to work directly by any noble, prelate, or ruler and earned his living solely through teaching, performing, and composing. From 1763 on, he mainly lived in Italy, where he became a highly successful composer of opera. He wrote in virtually every genre and must be counted among those composers who made important contributions to the formation of late eighteenth-century classicism.
Myslivecek’s Op.2 string quintets were almost certainly the earliest string quintets with two violas ever published. Additionally, he was a pioneer in the composition of music for wind ensemble, the outstanding examples of which are his three wind octets. His violin concertos are generally considered the finest composed between 1730 and 1775. He was also one of the most gifted symphonists. Mysliveček provided Mozart, with whom he was a close friend, with significant compositional models for the symphony, the concerto, for serious Italian opera, and for chamber music. Mysliveček's compositions evoke a gracious, diatonic style typical of Italian classicism. His best works are characterized by melodic inventiveness, logical continuity, and a certain emotional intensity that may be attributable to his dynamic personality.
The Op.2 String Quintets date from 1767 and comprise a set of six. From their structure, we can hear that they are clearly of the new type of chamber music which began to emerge during the third quarter of the 18th century. They use typical Italian sonata form. The melodies and harmonies surely had an influence on the chamber music which both Haydn and Mozart were producing during the decade of the 1770’s and beyond. For this reason as well as the fact that they are the first known example of the modern viola quintets, these works are of great historical importantce. But beyond this, the melodies are attractive and the movements well constructed.
As such, we believe both amateurs and professionals alike will be pleased to add these quintets to their collections.
(A) Quintet No.1---Parts
(B) Quintet No.1---Parts & Score
(C) Quintet No.2---Parts
(D) Quintet No.2---Parts & Score
(E) Quintet No.3---Parts
(F) Quintet No.3---Parts & Score
(G) All 3 Quintets---Parts Only
(H) All 3 Quintets---Parts & Scores