Frantisek Bartos was born on 13 June 1905 in Brnenec (Czech Republic). He studied music at the Prague Conservatory under Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Karel Boleslav Jirak and Jaroslav Kricka between 1921 and 1928. He successfully started to compose music during his studies - his String sextet op.4 was composed in 1926 and was awarded by the Chamber Music Society the same year. Frantisek Bartos was a founding member in 1932 of the musical group "Manes" (hudební skupina Mánes) together with Isa Krejci, Pavel Borkovec, Jaroslav Jezek and Vaclav Holzknecht. This group was one of the leading avant-garde groups with an emphasis on the return to neo-classicism. The group disbanded in 1937 and Frantisek Bartos lessened his composing activities and focussed more and more on writing articles for several magazines and newspapers, and wrote books on Bedrich Smetana, Mozart, Otakar Sin and Dvorak. Frantisek Bartos died on 21 May 1973 in Prague (Czech Republic).
Frantisek Bartos should not be mixed up with the Moravian ethnomusicologist Frantisek Bartos (1837-1906).
Frantisek Bartos work list is short. It ends at op.16 and consists mainly of chamber music. The works of Frantisek Bartos received immediate success and were performed several times in the 1930s and 40s. Over the years the compositions of Frantisek Bartos fell unjustly more and more into oblivion and deserve a revival nowadays.
The String quartet No.2 op.10 was composed in two stages. The movements II and III were composed in 1933. This version of the string quartet was premiered on 17.11.1933 by the Ondricek Quartet. In 1935 Frantisek Bartos added a first movement for the final version. The work was then awarded by the Chamber Music Society in 1935 amd received its premiere on 16.03.1937 by the Peska Quartet. The composition was published in 1947 through Hudebni Matice Umelecke Besedy.
The String quartet No.2 op.10 by Frantisek Bartos stands among the most important Czech string quartets of the beginning of the 20th century like the ones by Jaroslav Jezek, Bohuslav Martinu, Leos Janacek, Pavel Borkovec or Alois Haba.
The manuscripts in my possession are the autograph parts of the string quartet of the final version. The autographs match mainly with the published score from 1947, but nevertheless include a few minor differences. I decided to follow the autograph manuscripts and so my publication differs slightly to the previous releases.
The sound snippet below is a computer realisation of the third movement.