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ClassicsOnline Home » KROMMER: Partitas for Wind Ensemble Op. 57, 71 and 78
"The crisp, lively playing of the Budapest Wind Ensemble could hardly be bettered, and the Naxos recording is dynamic and realistically balanced."
Vinzenz Krommer (1759 -1831)
For Wind Ensemble
Partita in F Major, Op. 57
two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, two bassoons & double bassoon)
in B Flat Major, Op. 78
in E Flat Major, Op. 71
Six Marches, Op. 31
(for two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, two
bassoons, double bassoon & trumpet)
Franz Vinzenz Krommer,
otherwise, by birth, Frantisek Vincenc Kramcif, was born in Kamenice in 1759,
the son of an inn-keeper and later mayor of the town. His uncle, Anton Matthias
Krommer was a musician and worked from 1766 until his death in 1804 as teacher
and choirmaster at Turan, where he instructed, among others, his own ten
children and taught his nephew violin and organ, leaving hirn to acquire on his
own a knowledge of theory. In 1785 Franz Krommer went to Vienna, finding employment
from there in the musical establishment of the Count of Styrum in Sirnonturnya
(Sirnonthurn) as a violinist, becoming, two years later, Kapellmeister. Late in
1790 he was appointed master of choristers at Pecs Cathedral (Fünfkirchen).
From 1793 he served as a Kapellmeister to a certain Count Karolyi and from some
point as Kapellmeister to Prince Anton Grassalkovich de Gyarak, until the
latter's death in 1795. From then onwards, returning to Vienna, he found increased
favour among patrons, becoming Kapellmeister in about 1798 to Count Ignaz
Fuchs. His application in 1806 to join the Vienna Hofkapelle as a violinist was
rejected but in 1810 he was appointed Music Director of the Ballet at the Court
Theatre. In June 1815 he was appointed Kammertürhüter to the Emperor,
accompanying the Emperor Pranz Ion visits to Paris and to Padua and other cities of Northern Italy. Three years later he
followed Kozeluch as Imperial Chamber Kapellmeister and Court Composer, holding
this position until his death in 1831.
Franz Krommer was a prolific
and highly respected composer, with a significant, popular and substantial
addition to the string quartet repertoire. His concertos include a number of
works for his own instrument, the violin, and, now of greater interest, for
wind instruments. These last include two concertos for two clarinets, as well as
concertos for groups of wind instruments. There is a quantity of other chamber
music, including 26 string quintets and other quintets that feature a wind
instrument with a string quartet.
for wind ensemble, held an important position in the eighteenth century,
serving particularly as Tafelmusik (Table Music) to accompany dinner. By
the end of the century the most frequently found ensemble consisted of eight
parts, pairs of oboes, clarinets, French horns and bassoons, with an additional
16 foot part for double bassoon or double bass to add depth. This number of
players became current in Vienna from 1782, with the encouragement of the Emperor Joseph II,
who from 1787 employed two clarinettists, the Stadler brothers, in the Court
Orchestra. It was for one of these groups in Vienna that Krommer w rote his thirteen Harmonien.
While Krommer's music for wind ensemble is original, it was also common
practice for wind-bands to play their own transcriptions of popular operas, and
Mozart himself had transcribed the music of his first successful opera in
Vienna in 1782, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the
Seraglio), while incorporating table-music of this kind in his Don Giovanni five
years later. The fashion gradually waned in the altered circumstances of the
early nineteenth century.
The three examples of Harmoniemusik
included in the present recording were probably written in Vienna immediately before Krommer's
appointment as Ballett-KapeIlmeister to the Court Theatre. They are in
characteristic classical style, the musical language of Haydn and Mozart, each
in four movements that follow customary forms of chamber music rather than
multi-movement compositions common in divertimenti or in operatic
transcriptions. Bach starts with an Allegro, followed by a Minuet, a
slow or relatively slow movement and a more rapid final movement. They are
clearly intended for players of some accomplishment and show both elegance and
wit in their instrumental writing, not least in the finale of Opus 71, with its
soulful introduction and final hunt, aptly introduced by the horn, immediately
followed by the rest of the ensemble.
Krommer's Six Marches,
in which a solo trumpet also takes part, are undated, but may belong to his
period in the service of Count Ignaz Fuchs. These are crafted with the expected
skin and serve their purpose admirably.
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KROMMER: Partitas for Wind Ensemble Op. 57, 71 and...