Myslivecek, Josef


Myslivecek, Josef

Six String Symphonies (Quintets), Op. 2, edited by Daniel E. Freeman and James A. Ackerman (Urtext/first print)



Josef Mysliveček – Six String Symphonies (Quintets), Op. 2

(b. Prague, 9 March 1737 – d. Rome, 4 February 1781)

edited by
Daniel E. Freeman and James A. Ackerman

String Symphony (Quintet) in B-flat Major, Op. 2, no. 1 , p.1
String Symphony (Quintet) in E major, Op.2, no.2 , p.13
String Symphony (Quintet) in G Major, Op. 2, no. 3, p.29
String Symphony (Quintet) in A Major, Op. 2, no. 4 , p.45
String Symphony (Quintet) in D Major, Op. 2, no. 5 , p.57
String Symphony (Quintet) in C Major, Op. 2, no. 6 , p.68


Preface (Daniel E. Freeman, 2018)
The Czech composer Josef Mysliveček mastered a wide range of Italian musical genres after moving to Venice from his native Prague in 1763, his greatest energies devoted to symphony and serious opera.1 But as brilliant as his contributions were in all of the Italian vocal and instrumental genres he chose to cultivate, his strengths generally lay in refining existing style traditions. Nonetheless, there were certain areas of composition in which he was a true innovator, among them string quintets with two viola parts; indeed, his Op. 2 quintets of ca. 1767 are the earliest examples of string quintets with two viola parts known to have been published in Europe.2 Mysliveček also composed a second set of six string quintets in the early 1770s, likely identical to a set mentioned in a letter written by Mysliveček to his patron Count Vincenz von Waldstein from Naples on 14 September 1773.3 The composition of quintets with two viola parts was brought to a very high level by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1770s and 1780s, but there is no particular reason to believe that he ever knew the quintets from Mysliveček’s Op. 2. There is good reason, however, to believe that he came into contact with the later set during his encounters with Mysliveček in Italy between 1770 and 1773.4

The principal source of the Op. 2 quintets, and the basis of this edition, is a print brought out in Paris by the publisher Jean-Baptiste Venier. The full title is VI Sinfonie concertanti, o sia Quintetti per due violini, due viole, e basso. Copies of the print are preserved in two archives in Paris: the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département de la Musique (RISM F-Pn) and the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (RISM F-Pa).5 Besides these two exemplars of the prints, four complete manuscript copies of all six quintets are housed in Italian archives, and thirteen manuscripts in the Czech Republic preserve individual quintets.6 In spite of their high musical quality, the quintets of Op. 2 have never appeared in modern edition. …


Read full preface > HERE

Score Data


Repertoire Explorer


Chamber Music


225 x 320 mm

Performance Materials



First print / Urtext



Go to Top