Admired by Haydn, and preferred over Mozart for the position of music
director to Archduke Ferdinand d'Este, governor of Lombardy, on the
recommendation of Maria Theresa, Václav Pichl wrote over 900 works,
including 30 string quartets. The present set of three quartets, Op. 13,
published in Berlin in 1788, was dedicated to Carl von Dittersdorf, who
in 1770 had secured his "best friend" Pichl a valuable position in
Vienna that he held until his departure for the archduke's court in
These stylish and skilfully contrasted works exploit all four instruments equally (even the viola is allocated elaborate solo passages) and offer an attractive alternative to the standard Viennese works of this period. Haydn himself requested that Pichl's "new quartets" be copied out for performance in Esterháza in 1780.As with the first quartet published last year, the second is issued as a set of score and parts with an Introduction, full Critical Commentary, and facsimiles from the original edition. The third and final quartet will be published in the coming months.