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Quintett für Klavier und Bläser Es-dur Op. 16

Ludwig van Beethoven.

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Henle Verlag

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The Piano Quintet/Quartet op. 16 was composed during Beethoven’s sole concert tour of 1796. This took him to Prague, Dresden, Leipzig, and finally also to Berlin in May and June where the work may have been completed. The surviving sketches are written on paper from Berlin. In their immediate vicinity are drafts for the Cello Sonatas op. 5, which are dedicated to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II and were performed during the Berlin trip. Furthermore, the Fischhof sketch miscellany (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin · Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Mus. ms. autogr. Beethoven 28) contains a draft letter, also on Berlin paper, from Beethoven to an unknown recipient: “I have the honour herewith [to send] you the quintet, and shall be very grateful if you will look upon it as an insignificant present from me; the only condition I would ask of you is, of course, that you give it to no one else” (Beethoven Briefwechsel, letter no. 21). A complete autograph text of the work has not survived. Perhaps it remained in Berlin or was sent to Prague (Beethoven had already sketched a work in G major for piano and winds in Prague at the beginning of his concert tour in spring 1796, but did not complete it). The autograph may have reached a Viennese friend, possibly Nikolaus Zmeskall. It is also not impossible that it was intended for its dedicatee, Prince Joseph von Schwarzenberg, and his renowned Harmoniemusik [wind band].
The work was premiered in Vienna on 6 April 1797 at one of Ignaz Schuppanzigh’s “Academy” concerts, in the hall of Jahn, the court chef. Beethoven was at the piano. The fact that on this occasion Beethoven publicly performed the quintet (and not the quartet) version of the work led to the assumption that this was the original version, with the quartet being the arrangement. Even Ferdinand Ries, in his Biographische Notizen über Ludwig van Beethoven (Koblenz, 1838), published with Franz Gerhard Wegeler, counts the quartet among Beethoven’s authentic arrangements of his own works: “Very many things by Beethoven have appeared with the inscription «Arrangé par l’Auteur même», but only four of these are genuine; […] 3. Out of his piano quintet with four wind instruments he created the piano quartet with three stringed instruments” (pp. 93 f.). But given the lack of an autograph, it remains unclear which is the original version. The matter is further confused by the original print edition, which was published in Vienna by Mollo in March 1801, in parts (thus a score, which today we have come to expect, is absent), under the title GRAND QUINTETTO | pour le | Forte-Piano | avec Oboë, Clarinette, Basson, et Cor | oû | Violon Alto, et Violoncelle | composé et dedié | A Son Altesse Monseigneur le Prince | Regnant de Schwarzenberg &. &. | par | LOUIS VAN BEETHOVEN | Oeuvre 16. | [left:] 151. [right:] f 3 | à Vienne chez T. Mollo et Comp. | Leipzig au Comtoir d’Industrie | Franckfort chez Gayl et Hedler. Both wind and string parts are enclosed with the piano part. The early reprint by Simrock (1802), which is likewise an important source, contains, along with the piano part (which still carries Quintetto as head title!), a choice of wind or string parts as desired.
The present edition adopts the musical text of the quintet version presented in 1964 by Siegfried Kross within series 4 vol. 1, Klavierquintett und Klavierquartette, of the new Beethoven Werke complete edition. The quartet version is to be found in the Henle Urtext edition of Beethoven’s piano quartets (HN 234).

  • Bezetting: Klavier, Oboe, Klarinette, Horn und Fagott
  • Catalogus: HN 222
  • Componist: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Formaat: 48+8+8+8+4 Pagina's
  • Release datum: 15-07-2002

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