Jan Baptist Vanhal
String Quartet in F Major, Op.6 No.1--New Edition
Jan Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813 also spelled Vanhall, Wanhal, Wanhall) was born in the Bohemian town of Nechanice, then part of the Habsburg Empire. His initial studies were with a local musician, but later he moved to Vienna where he studied violin and composition with Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf. He also learned both the cello and bass and became so proficient that he was able to play the cello part in a quartet which consisted of Dittersdorf on first violin, Haydn on second violin and Mozart on the viola. Vanhal tailored his output to economic realities of the day and composed, as did most of his contemporaries, a huge number of compositions in virtually every genre, including some 70 symphonies and numerous operas. A considerable part of his output was for various chamber ensembles. Today he is remembered mostly for his double bass concerto, but during his lifetime and for most of the first part of the 19th century, several of his works were quite popular. Mozart frequently performed one of his violin concertos in concert. Along with Haydn, Vanhalís works influenced and shaped Mozartís ideas and compositions.
Vanhal wrote more than fifty string quartets, some experts think as many as 100. Most of these were composed before 1780. Opus 6 No.1 was the first of a set of six quartets composed in 1771. It is in three movements, typical of the so-called Mannheim school and neither Mozart nor Haydn had advanced beyond what we find here at that time. The opening Allegro is upbeat and full of energy. A very romantic and lyrical Andante serves as the middle movement, The finale, a Presto, is lively and full of forward motion.
This is a work historically important because it provides a picture of one of the best examples of the Mannheim School by an important composer then working in Vienna alongside Mozart and Haydn We have created a modern edition complete with rehearsal numbers.
Parts & Score: $25.95