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Franz Krommer: Clarinet Concertos Opp 35, 36 & 91 Kalman Berkes, Nicolaus Esterhazy Orchestra

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Name:Franz Krommer: Clarinet Concertos Opp 35, 36 & 91 Kalman Berkes, Nicolaus Esterhazy Orchestra

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Krommer, Franz (Vinzenz) [Kramá?, František Vincenc]

(b Kamenice u T?ebí?e, 27 Nov 1759; d Vienna, 8 Jan 1831). Czech composer. He was the son of the innkeeper and later mayor of Kamenice Georg Krommer (Ji?í Kramá?, 1737–1810), and the nephew of the composer and choirmaster Anton Matthias Krommer. He is often known as ‘Krommer-Kramá?’.

From the age of 14 until Krommer was 17 he was taught the violin and organ by his uncle in Turan; he taught himself theory. After about 1777 Krommer was temporary organist in Turan. In 1785 he moved to Vienna and after staying for one year found employment as a violinist in the orchestra of the Duke of Styrum in Simontornya (Hungary). Two years later he was promoted to the post of musical director. Towards the end of 1790 he became Kapellmeister of Pécs Cathedral; after 1793 he acted as Kapellmeister and composer in the service of a Duke Karolyi and later of Prince Antal Grassalkovich de Gyarak.

Returning to Vienna in 1795, Krommer presumably taught composition before being appointed Kapellmeister to Duke Ignaz Fuchs in 1798. In 1806 he applied, unsuccessfully, to join the Vienna Hofkapelle as a violinist; after 1810 he was employed as Ballett-Kapellmeister of the Vienna Hoftheater. On 14 June 1815 he was appointed Kammertürhüter to the emperor, and in this office accompanied Emperor Franz I to Paris and Padua in the same year, and to Verona, Milan and Venice in 1816. From 13 September 1818 until his death he succeeded Leopold Anton Kozeluch as the last official director of chamber music and court composer to the Habsburg emperors.

Krommer was one of the most successful of the many influential Czech composers in Vienna at the turn of the 18th century. His creative output comprises over 300 works, although he only began to publish them in later years. Krommer’s reputation is attested by the rapid spread of his compositions in reprints and arrangements by German, Danish, French, English, Italian and American publishers, and equally by his honorary membership of the Istituto Filarmonico in Venice, the Philharmonic Society in Ljubljana, the Musikverein in Innsbruck and the conservatories in Paris (1815), Milan (1818) and Vienna (1826). With the exception of piano works, lieder and operas, Krommer cultivated all the musical genres of his time, and was regarded (with Haydn) as the leading composer of string quartets, and as a serious rival of Beethoven. The present view, however, places his solo concertos for wind instruments as his most individual accomplishments. In his symphonies, solo concertos and chamber music he followed the style of Haydn and Mozart, and yet his modes of expression extend from the galant style of the earlier 18th century to Romanticism. His violin duets have proved to be his most lasting works: they were still in use at the end of the 19th century as instructive pieces for students. His violin concertos, however, are largely forgotten: they were modelled on those of Pierre Rode, and the demands of their solo parts allow some insight into Krommer’s own ability on the violin; but his chamber music with piano shows a lack of familiarity with the technical possibilities of keyboard instruments. His numerous dances, marches and compositions for brass band, all within the Viennese tradition for these genres, are of special interest when compared with similar works by Beethoven.

Krommer’s son August Krommer (b Vienna, 1807; d Vienna, 27 March 1842), an insurance agent in Vienna, was for a time a violinist in the orchestra of the Burgtheater, and also appeared in public as a pianist in 1833.

WORKS
orchestral
printed works published in Offenbach unless otherwise stated
Syms.: op.12 (1798); op.40 (1803); op.62 (1808), autograph 1807, A-Wgm; op.102 (n.d.); op.105 (?1820); no.6, autograph 1823, Wgm; no.9, 1830, Wn; 2 lost
Concs.: 3 for fl, ob, vn, op.18 (1799), opp.38–9 (1803); 2 for fl, cl, vn, opp.70, 80 (Vienna, ?1808); 2 for 2 cl, op.35 (?1802), op.91 (?1815); 2 for fl, no.1, op.30 (Vienna, 1802), op.86 (Vienna, n.d.) [arr. as Cl Conc. (n.d.)]; 2 for ob, op.37 (1803), op.52 (Vienna, 1805) [arr. as Cl Conc. (n.d.)], ed. in MAB, xxvii (1956); 1 for cl, op.36 (1803), ed. in MAB, xiii (1953); 9 for vn, no.1 (Vienna, 1802), nos.2–5, opp.41–4 (Vienna, 1803), op.61 (1808), op.64 (?1808), op.81 (Vienna, after 1826), 1 in Wgm
Wind insts: 3 partitas a 10, op.45 (Vienna, 1803); 15 marches a 10, 6 pubd (Vienna, 1803), 6 as op.31 (n.d.), 3 as op.60 (Vienna, ?1808); Harmonie-Musik a 9, i–x (Vienna, 1808–?1810); Märsche für türkische Musik, opp.97–100 (Vienna, 1818); Volkslied (Vienna, 1827); 3 partitas a 10, Wn

chamber
printed works published in Vienna unless otherwise stated
Qnts: 26 for 2 vn, 2 va, vc, 3 as op.8 (Offenbach, 1797), 3 as op.11 (Offenbach, 1798), 6 as op.25 (1802–3), 2 as opp.70, 80 (Offenbach, 1817), 3 as op.88 (?1809), 3 as op.100 (Milan, ?1822), 6 as opp.106–7 (Offenbach, c1825); 9 for fl, vn, 2 va, vc, op.49 (1804), op.55 (1805), op.58 (?1808), op.63 (Offenbach, ?1808), op.66 (?1809), op.92 (?1823) [2 extracts, autograph, Wgm], op.101 (1820), op.104 (1821), op.109 (n.d.); 1 for cl, vn, 2 va, vc, op.95 (Offenbach, n.d.)
Str qts (pubd in groups of 3 unless otherwise stated): op.1 (Offenbach, 1793), op.3 (Offenbach, 1793), op.4 (Offenbach, 1794), op.5 (Augsburg, 1796) [1 ed. in MAB, v (1949)], op.7 (Augsburg, 1797), op.10 (Offenbach, 1798), op.16 (1798), op.18 (1800), op.19 (1801), 1 as op.23 (1802), op.24 (1802), op.26 (London, c1800), op.34 (1803), op.48 (1804), op.50 (1804), op.53 (1804), op.54 (1805), op.56 (1805), op.68 (?1808), op.72 (Paris, n.d.), op.74 (?1808), op.85 (?1809), op.90 (?1809), op.92 (Milan, 1816), op.103 (c1821); 12 valses viennoises (Paris, n.d.)
Other qts: 9 for fl, str, op.13 (Offenbach, 1798), op.17 (1799), op.59 (n.d.), op.75 (?1808), op.89 (Offenbach, ?1820), op.90 (1820), opp.93–4 (Offenbach, ?1820), op.97 (Augsburg, n.d.); 5 for cl, str, 2 as op.21 (Offenbach, 1802), op.69 (Bonn, n.d.), op.82 (Offenbach, ?1816), op.83 (Offenbach, c1816); 2 for bn, 2 va, vc, op.46 (1804); 2 for pf, str, op.95 (1817), B (Florence, n.d.)
2–3 insts: 27 vn duos (pubd in groups of 3), op.2 (Offenbach, 1793), op.6 (Offenbach, 1796), op.20 (London, c1810), op.22 (?1800) [1 ed. in Hausmusik, clxxiii (Vienna, 1958)], op.33 (1802), op.35 (?1805), op.51 (?1805), op.94 (1816), op.110 (1829); 2 sets of variations, vn, db, opp.9, 14 (1797); Sonata, vn, db, op.15 (1799); 3 sonatas, vn, va, op.27 (n.d.), op.42 (1802), op.45 (Paris, n.d.); Trio, pf, va, vc, op.32 (1802); 13 pièces, 2 cl, va, op.47 (1804); 2 trios, pf, vn, vc, opp.84, 87 (?1808–9); Str Trio, op.96 (1818); 6 sonatas, vn, pf (Offenbach, n.d.)

other works
Vocal: 2 masses, 4vv, orch, org, C, op.108 (Offenbach, c1825), d (Florence, 1842); Ave Maria, 2 Pange lingua, 2 Tantum ergo, 4vv, insts, A-Wn
Arrs.: 3 pf sonatas, 4 hands (Leipzig, n.d.); 21 works, arr. 2 fl (Offenbach, n.d.); Petits airs et rondeaux, vn, pf (Offenbach, n.d.); single kbd works, incl. dances and marches, pubd Copenhagen, Mannheim, Berlin

BIBLIOGRAPHY
‘Der Compositeur Franz Krommer’, Notizen-Blatt der historischstatistischen Section der Kais. Königl. mährisch-schlesischen Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Ackerbaues, der Natur- und Landeskunde (1859), 37
H. Walter: Franz Krommer: sein Leben und Werk mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Streichquartette (diss., U. of Vienna, 1932)
Z. Zouhar, ed.: František Vincenc Kramá? = François Krommer: 1759–1959: vyb?rová bibliografie [Selective bibliography] (Brno, 1959)
K. Padrta: František Vincenc Kramá?-Krommer: studie k životopismým a slohovým otázkám [Bibliographical and stylistic questions] (Brno, 1966)
K. Padrta: ‘Die Menuett-Typen im Werke des Komponisten Kramá-?Krommer’, SPFFBU, H2 (1967), 31–41
K. Padrta: ‘Pobyt F.V. Kramare-Krommera v Mad’arsku’ [Krommer’s stay in Hungary], HV, iv (1967), 148–61
B. Geist: ‘Nález Kramá?ovy 7. symfonie’ [The discovery of Krommer’s 7th Symphony], HV, v (1968), 139–46
D. Evans: Franz Krommer (1759–1831) and his Music for Clarinet (diss., Indiana U., 1987)
M.H. Mailman: An Interpretive Approach to Two Wind Partitas of Franz Vincent Krommer: Partita in F, op.57 (1808) and Partita in E, op.79 (1810) (diss., U. of North Texas, 1995)
OTHMAR WESSELY

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