English Chamber Orchestra Anthony Pay — conductor Franz Krommer was Czech by birth but spent the major part of his career in Vienna; he was the last official court composer in the Habsburg court. A violinist, Krommer wrote mostly orchestral and chamber music, including at least six dozen string quartets. Born less than four years after Mozart, he outlived Beethoven, but his style is firmly based in the 18th century. The Clarinet Concerto, op. It is certainly a virtuoso showpiece, but well written for the instrument; everything fits well under the fingers.
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Born in the Moravian town of Kamenice Kamenitz , Krommer divulged unusual talent early on and began studies in on the violin and organ with his uncle, Anton Matthias Krommer, composer and choirmaster at Turan.
Through his uncle, Krommer became the temporary organist at Turan in or From his years of study with his uncle until about , Krommer also took it upon himself to learn theory and composition. He traveled to Vienna in , but could find no steady work during the year or so he spent there.
He obtained an appointment as a violinist in the Court orchestra of the Duke of Styrum in Simontornya now part of Hungary , in about He would also take on assignments at two smaller courts nearby as concertmaster, beginning in He returned to Vienna in , where as a composer with a growing reputation, he is thought to have taught composition for the next three years.
In , he was appointed concertmaster at the court of Duke Ignaz Fuchs, where he remained until This dozen-year period would prove a fertile one for Krommer , with the publication of his earliest symphonies, concertos, and nearly 50 of his more than 70 string quartets.
In , Krommer accepted the appointment of ballet concertmaster at the Vienna Hoftheater. Krommer accompanied the Hapsburg ruler to various European cities in France and Italy over the next two years. In , Krommer was elevated to the rank of court composer and director of chamber music under Franz I, succeeding Leopold Kozeluch. He served in this post until his death in During this final period, his creative output declined: though the last several of his approximately ten symphonies appeared, he wrote but a handful of string quartets and other compositions.
He wrote an array of compositions in most genres, but produced no operas or lieder.
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