Dvorak Early Works For String Quartet
Josef Kluson, Zemlinsky Quartet
Dvořák has composed no less than 15 string quartets, only one of which remains unfinished as a fragment in a quartet movement from 1881. Most of his early string quartets are not youth works, except for the first, when the composer was already working, they were all written. The String Quintet in A minor, written in 1861, is the first work that Dvořák has provided with an opus number. The 1st String Quartet written in the following year figures as op. 2. A veritable flood of compositions for string quartet began in 1870; four quartets owe their existence to this fruitful year, followed by further works in 1873 and 1874 Dvořák had already worked for ten years as a violist in Karl Komzák's chapel, which had become the core of the opera orchestra of the Czech National Theatre since 1865. At the beginning of the 1870s, Dvořák gained growing self-confidence in his abilities and possibilities as a composer, as early as 1871 he gave up his position as orchestral musician, and success was not long in coming: Prague seems to have waited only for the younger colleague of the national composer Smetana. Towards the end of the decade Brahms became aware of the young Prague colleague and stood up for him at his publisher Simrock. And also abroad had obviously waited for Dvořák, the first release on Simrock brought him the international breakthrough.