General information
Title CZTři jezdci [auth.]
Title ENThree Riders
Title DEDie drei Reiter
CategoryChamber Music
SubcategoryString Quartets
Halbreich number1
Parts of the composition (movements)Allegro non troppo - Largo - Andante - Allegro - Andante
InstrumentsVl Vl Vla Vc
Place of compositionPolička
Year of origin1902
Initiation of composition1902
Completion of composition1902
First performance
Autograph deposition
Owner of the sourceCentrum Bohuslava Martinů v Poličce
Note on the autograph depostitionPBM Aa 36 – draft; PBM Aa 37 – autograph parts
CopyrightCopyright free
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note After the ballad of the same title by Jaroslav Vrchlický.
About the composition

In his childhood, Martinů learned the violin from a local tailor and made a local reputation for himself, giving his first public concert in his hometown in 1905. Around the same time, he concentrated some attention on composition, although without proper tuition and lacking even the manuscript-paper necessary for the purpose. 

One of the earliest of Martinů's compositions is Three Riders, H 1, a work for string quartet that is based on a ballad by Jaroslav Vrchlický on the subject of the three riders, the three Czech noblemen who brought home the news of the burning of Jan Hus. The work was written in 1902 and is the earliest of Martinů's surviving compositions, a reminder of his association with a local student quartet in Polička. It is in three short, connected movements and is relatively straightforward, if not naive, in its graphic treatment of the underlying narrative.

Keith Anderson, Martinů String Quartets Volume 1, © 2000 HNH International Ltd

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