Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

First American violin work


Recommended Posts

Years ago I read that Benjamin Franklin had written a quartet which could be played on open strings.  I don't recall hearing it.  But on Y-tube there is a recording of a quartet for 3 violins and 'cello.

Here is a video:


But there is also a more sophisticated work probably written in Paris.  It seems there is some argument as to whether Franklin wrote it or not.  There is also a recording of this on Y_Tube.

An article on the subject:


But of course there was probably some earlier American composition for violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Rue said:

What is an American composition anyway?

Written by an American in America?

Written by an American - but written  somewhere else in the world?

Written elsewhere by someone who later became an American?

Please answer each question.  25 points is possible for each answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see I should have been more clear.  First, I should have specified North America, and more particularly the United States of America.  By an American violin work, I meant a work prominently featuring the violin by an American composer while he or she was a long-term resident of the United States — continental or otherwise — even if the work itself was composed on foreign soil.

By "prominently featuring the violin", I mean that the listener would tend to hear the violin as an independent and interesting voice; this means that works like Antes's trios would probably qualify, while the Pachelbel works performed colla voce would probably not.

If there are arguments as to what qualifies as a violin, and a work, and a composer, and long-term residence, I'll happily attempt to answer them, but I hope this is pedantic enough for now.  ;)

I'm very interested in the Antes works, especially after listening to a couple movements.  Thanks, Stephen Fine, for thinking of the Moravians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Looking into it further, I see that the John Antes trios would not qualify, since even though Antes was born in what would become the United States, he had been living and working in Europe for some time, had gone to Egypt as a missionary, and after being nearly beaten to death there wrote his trios during his convalescence.  He then left Egypt for Europe, never to return to the Americas before his death in Bristol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...