String Quartet in E flat Major, Op.40 No.3
“The music of Wranitzky was in fashion when it was new because of his natural melodies and brilliant style…I recall that, in my youth, his works held up very well in comparison with those of Haydn. Their premature abandonment of today has been for me a source of astonishment.” ---The famous French critic, musicologist and composer François-Joseph Fetis
Paul Wranitzky (1756-1808 Pavel Vranický in the Czech form) was born in the town Nová Ríše (then Neureisch) in Moravia. At age 20, like so many other Czech composers of that period, he moved to Vienna to seek out opportunities within the Austrian imperial capital. Wranitzky played a prominent role in the musical life of Vienna. He was on friendly terms and highly respected by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven who preferred him as the conductor of their new works. Wranitzky was, as so many of his contemporaries, a prolific composer. His chamber works number over 100. Although some scholars believe that Wranitzky studied with Haydn, there is no proof of this. But there can be no question that he studied and was influenced by Haydn’s quartets. Like Haydn, Wranitzky’s quartet writing went through many stages of development beginning with the pre-classical and evolving to the finished sonata form of the late Vienna Classics. The majority of Wranitzky’s quartets are set in the three-movement format of the Parisian quatour concertant. In these works he explored the emerging Romantic style with (for the time) daring harmonic progressions, theatrical gestures, and virtuoso display.
Op.40 No.3 is the last of a set of three composed sometime between 1794 and 1797.The opening movement is a lovely, deeply felt Adagio. The middle movement, a Presto, chugs along in excited fashion with moving passages in all of the voices. The finale is a genial, dance like Rondo.
Our new edition (with false cello treble clef removed) is based on the first edition by Thadé Weigl of Vienna and has been carefully edited by senior editors Tomasz Golinski and R.H.R. Silvertrust. Out of print for at leat 175 years, we are pleased to reintroduce this work which is not only historically important but can serve as a fresh alternative to the inevitable Haydn or Mozart where a work from the classical era is desired.
Score & Parts: $36.95