Florian Leopold Gassmann
Florian Leopold Gassmann, born in 1729 in Brüx (today: Most), received his first musical instruction from the choirmaster of Brüx as well as presumably at the Jesuit gymnasium in
Komotau (today: Chomutov). He later went to Italy and took lessons among others from Padre G. B. Martin in Bologna. His encounter with the Venetian opera was of decisive importance. In 1757, Florian Gassmann came to the fore with a first opera in the Teatro San Moisè; additional operas followed.
From 1763 on, he worked as “Hof- und Kammercompositor“ (“court and chamber composer“) in Vienna, where he died in 1774.
Among his students was for example Antonio Salieri. Through Florian
Gassmann, the Vienna Court Orchestra reached a new peak. His instrumental work cultivates the new melodic style; his operas are seen as having paved the way for the operas by W. A. Mozart. In the area of chamber music, Florian Gassman created works in a wide variety of instrumentations, among them
several collections of string quartets.
The String Quartet in C Major is the second of a collection of six quartets published in 1804 (Vienna: Bureau d’Arts et d‘ Industries). An austere contrapuntal Andante with some odd moments of chromaticism form the beginning. The subsequent Allegro has a fugue-like structure – a conscious
bow to the masters of the late baroque. The third movement is a Menuetto-Trio in a simple and folk song-like tone. The final movement (Allegro) takes up the fugue-like, sequence-saturated motion of the second movement again.