Onslow: Quartet in F, opus 8 no. 2
Instruments: two violins, viola and cello
Catalogue no.: Q1999-4
This string quartet, along with other chamber works by Onslow, is worthy of serious study alongside works of other composers of the period such as Beethoven. It has a lively and tuneful first movement, a beautiful theme and variations (including a florid variation with an exciting part for 1st violin), a pretty minuet and trio and a rousing final movement. All instruments have interesting parts.
George Onslow, an Anglo-French composer, was born in Clermont-Ferrand in July 1784 and died there in October 1853. He was the grandson of the first Lord Onslow and descended, through his mother, from the family of Brantôme. Although he showed no special love of music in his early years, he later became a prolific composer, particularly of chamber music, including 35 string quartets, (this opus 8 no. 2 in F being the fifth) and 34 string quintets, some for two cellos, some for cello and double bass and some for 2 violas. Three of his string quintets and his piano quintet are also published by SJ Music (Q1993-5, Q1991-1, Q1993-4 and Q2005-2).