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The Classical Explorer

Bohemian Quartets

Ami Music 8553142

Franz Krommer

String Quartet in F Major, Op. 19 #2 (1801)
String Quartet in D minor, Op. 74 #3 (c1808)
String Quartet in A minor, Op. 103 #3 (c1821)

Marcolini Quartet
Ami Music 8553142

The prolific and successful Czech composer Krommer (František Vincenc Kramár) is best known, if he is remembered at all, for his wind concertos and Harmoniemusik. But he wrote a great deal of chamber music for strings as well, including 26 string quintets and at least 73 published string quartets. Their composition spans nearly his entire mature output, from the three Op. 1 quartets of 1793 to the three quartets Op. 103 written about 1821. The early works owe a debt to Mozart and Haydn, but the later quartets reflect Krommer's embrace of romanticism. The Marcolini Quartet (Jörg Buschhaus & Franke Pöhl, violins; Stefan Schmidt, viola; and Martin Fritz, cello) play on period instruments.

A Second Opinion

The Czech composer Krommer spent some of his career in Hungary but most of it in Vienna, where his reputation in some respects was as high as those of Haydn and Beethoven. His many string quartets, written over a long period, show the influence of both composers, but there are in his writing individual qualities such as an unexpected key change or an unusual theme. The Marcolinis play period instruments and are extremely well recorded.

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