Anton Zimmermann

Anton Zimmermann was born in Breitenau in Austrian Silesia (today: Široká Niva,
Bruntál district) in 1741. From 1763 on, he worked as organist at the diocesan church in Königgrätz (today: Hradec Králové); in the beginning of the 1770s, he went to Preßburg (today: Bratislava), where his lyrical drama Narcisse et Pierre premiered in 1772. Attempts to establish himself as organist and church musician in Olmütz (today: Olomouc) and Brünn (today: Brno) were not crowned with success. From 1776 on, Anton Zimmermann was in the service of the archbishop (and later cardinal) and Prince-Primate of Hungary, Joseph Batthyány, in Preßburg, for whom he built up a chamber orchestra, which he directed until his death in 1781.

The orchestra was one of the most outstanding ensembles of its kind in Central Europe. Anton Zimmermann‘s work encompasses operas, church music, symphonic music, and chamber music. He gave momentum to the further development of the sonata form and in his chamber music strove for a balanced participation of all instruments.
The String Quartet in F Major is the third work of the six quartets op. 3 created in 1770 and published by the Johann Gottlieb Guera publishing house in Lyon around 1777. Deviating from the traditional form, the work is arranged in five movements. It starts with a sequence of four  on a chant-like theme (Andante un poco Adagio). There is no minor variation, and the final variation has the character of a recapitulation. In the first Menuetto-Trio, resolute stepping-out meets a more contemplative temperament. A monothematic Allegro in sonata form follows, its tone playful, light, and boisterous (grace-notes).

The second Menuetto-Trio contrasts gallant movement with the
virtuoso unfolding of the first violin above pizzicato sounds. The work finishes with a fast movement in swaying 3/8 time (Allegro non molto!); this movement is again monothematic, yet has more of a folk-song character.

Andreas Wehrmeyer





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