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Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813): Four String Quartets / Lotus String Quartet

Album Summary

>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in C minor, Op. 1/4 (Weinmann 5a
>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in G major (Weinmann 5a
>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in A major, Op. 33/2 (Weinmann 5a
>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in E flat major (Weinmann 5a
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

One may rightly claim that Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813), who traced his roots to Bohemia, was one of the most productive composers of the 18th c. He wrote a total of 1,377 (!) works; sixty string quartets having appeared in print through to 1787, with thirty-six others in manuscript or documented in catalogue entries. Quantity aside, Vanhal quite early gained fame with the quality of his works. For CPO, the Lotus String Quartet, which gained notice with its triumph at the Int’l Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan in 1994, interprets a selection of these quartets.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (03/23/2009-03/25/2009).



Reviews

On par with Haydn

Czech composer Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813) was born just seven years after Franz Joseph Haydn, and died four years after him. Vanhal's music parallels Haydn's in style as well -- especially in his earlier works.

The Lotus String Quartet has selected four outstanding examples from Vanhal's catalog of over 100 chamber pieces. The String Quartet in C minor, Op. 1, No. 4 (1769) was written while Vanhal was touring Italy, to learn the Italianate style. In this quartet, the lyrical melodies are paramount, with the other voices consigned to a supporting role.

String Quartet in G major (1780) was written after he returned to Vienna. In this work, motivic development comes to the fore, as it does in contemporary quartets by Haydn and Mozart.

The String Quartet in A major, Op. 33, No. 2 (1785) and the String Quartet in E-flat major (1786) represent Vanhal's final thoughts on the genre. While "Sturm und Drang" contrasts are evident, Vanhal takes a different -- and somewhat more mannered -- approach than Haydn. The quartet in E-flat is especially delightful, an entertaining work by a composer in full command of his resources.

The Lotus String Quartet seems to have an affinity for this repertoire. They play expressively, but also with a little bit of reserve that's the core of the classical period aesthetic.
Submitted on 12/08/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in C minor, Op. 1/4 (Weinmann 5a :: c2)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (03/23/2009-03/25/2009)
  • Running Time: 15 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1769

>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in G major (Weinmann 5a :: G8)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (03/23/2009-03/25/2009)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1780

>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in A major, Op. 33/2 (Weinmann 5a :: A4)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (03/23/2009-03/25/2009)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1785

>Vanhal, Johann Baptist : Quartet for Strings in E flat major (Weinmann 5a :: Es11)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (03/23/2009-03/25/2009)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1786