Johan Wilhelm Wilms
String Quartet No.1 in g minor, Op.25 No.1
Johan Wilms' String Quartet No.1 in g minor is the first of a set of two composed in 1806. They were published six years later in 1812 as his Op.25. Its structure is firmly classical, yet the prestigious musical periodical, Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, in its review of the work found it very “modern” sounding. The four movement work begins and ends with an Allegro, both of which have a Mozartian quality about them. The second movement is a charming Andante which is followed by Menuetto, which already show the influence of the early Romantic movement.
Johan Wilhelm Wilms (1772–1847) was born in the German town of Witzhelden. After lessons from his father in piano and composition, Wilms studied flute on his own, and then moved to Amsterdam in 1791 and obtained a position playing flute in an orchestra there. Soon his talent as a pianist was recognized and he became a soloist, giving the Dutch premieres of the piano concertos of Mozart and Beethoven. Today, in the Netherlands, he is still remembered for composing the music to the first Dutch national anthem. He wrote in most genres and his works were frequently praised in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung to which he was also a contributor.
We have reprinted the first and only edition of 1812 but have added rehearsal letters and corrected a few mistakes. This quartet would make a good choice where a work from the classical era is required and makes a fine replacement for the inevitable Haydn or Mozart.