Hellmesberger Quartet

The Hellmesberger Quartet was a string quartet formed in Vienna in 1849. It was founded by Joseph Hellmesberger Sr. and was the first permanent named String Quartet.

Composition

Violinist Leopold Jansa started a string quartet in 1845. Hellmesberger took over from Jansa in 1849, retaining the other members.[1] Its initial composition was:

The quartet's composition remained "pretty constant until the mid-1860s".[2]

At one point, the composition was:

Hellmesberger's son, Joseph Hellmesberger Jr. joined the quartet in 1870 to play the second violin and became leader in 1887.

Ferdinand Hellmesberger, the son of Joseph Sr. and brother of Joseph Jr., joined in 1883 to play the cello.

Importance

The Quartet played an important role in Vienna's musical life through the performance of quartets from Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Franz Schubert, premiering several of Brahms' and Schubert's chamber works.[3]

It commissioned and premiered Antonín Dvořák's String Quartet No. 11, Op. 61, composed in 1881.

The programme of the opening concert on November 4, 1849 included Joseph Haydn's Quartet in C, Op. 76, No. 3, Spohr's Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 124, and Beethoven's Quartet in F, Op. 59 No. 1.

Notes

  1. Hellmesberger family biographies, under External links
  2. Potter, The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, p.44
  3. Hellmesberger family biographies under External links

References

  • Unknown Author (1903-04-01). "Adolph Brodsky". Musical Times. The Musical Times, Vol. 44, No. 722. 44 (722): 225–227. doi:10.2307/902923. JSTOR 902923.
  • Clive, Peter (1997). Schubert and His World: A Biographical Dictionary. Oxford University Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0-19-816582-X.
  • Potter, Tully (1999). "From chamber to concert hall". In Stowell,Robin (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0-521-00042-4.
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