Minuet in G for String Trio, Gardi 12 (completed by Willem)

Minuet in G for String Trio, Gardi 12 (completed by Willem)
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Author: Willem
Length: 1:07
Minuet in G for String Trio, Gardi 12, Sketch
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Author: Mark S. Zimmer
Length: 1:07
Minuet in G for String Trio, Gardi 12 (1795)

This minuet, as is the case for most of the Beethoven dances, is sketched only in piano score. However, since it is limited to three voices of appropriate range, it is probably intended to be a trio of two violins and bass. Beethoven's early sets of dances from this period were often set in this format, such as the 12 minuets WoO 7 and the 12 German Dances WoO 8, both dating from that same year. It is tempting to conjecture that this minuet may have been intended for WoO 7, possibly in place of No. 3 or No. 9, both in G, of that set.

The minuet sketch is found on the recto (reverse side) of folio 39 of autograph 28, the Fischhof Miscellany, a collection of sketches from before 1800 held by the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, as transcribed by Douglas Johnson in his doctoral dissertation. We present the Minuet in the original sketch and also Willem's completion.

Willem notes: This minuet seems close to Hess 33 in its preoccupation with formal voice leading. It should be remembered that Mozart and Haydn did get bored from time to time with writing elegant minuets, and then came up with some sturdy counterpoint (for example Haydn's minuet from the Quinten-Quartet ("Fifth", in d minor) and Mozart's minuet from the Serenade for Wind instruments in C minor, K.388). In that light Hess 33 and Gardi 12 are not entirely without precedent.

I've done some small maintenance on the minuet as sketched. To motivate that, especially the filling of the hole in the bass, bar 31-36 (counting of the bars WITHOUT the empty bar at the start of the midi), let's first have a look at the structure:

bar 1-8 first phrase for 2 voices,
bar 9-16: repeat of first phrase written out in full, now for 3 voices.
bar 17-24: second phrase for 2 voices,
bar 25-28: second half of first phrase for 2 voices,
bar 29-30: echo of the cadence for 3 voices.
bar 31-44: repeat of bars 17-30 written out in full, occasionally for 3 voices.
Comparison with bars 9-16 suggests that bars 31-44 should also be fully for 3 voices.
In other words, we have a complete Minuet, with its repeats written out in full, but without a trio.

Here a detailed account of the changes I've made for my completion:

Minuet in G, GV.12

bar  1, bass: count 1:  G added (cf. bar 9)
bar 22, bass: cnt 1 & 2: C replaced by C-E
bar 23, bass: cnt 2 & 3: A - D added
bar 24: bass added
bar 30, bass: cnt 2 & 3: notes added
bar 31, vln II: cnt 3: B tied to next note (cf. bass, bar 17)
bar 31 - 36: bass added (for bar 35,36: cf. bass, bar 22,23)
bar 33: vln II: cnt 3: A tied to next note (cf. bass, bar 19)
bar 37: vln II: cnt 2 & 3: F# - D added
bar 38: vln II added
bar 42: vln II: cnt 1 & 2: G added
bar 44: vln I, II & bass: chord extended to 2 beats.
With this small maintenance, Gardi 12 should make more musical sense.

Handling of the cadence in bars 28 and 42 should be noticed: the bass keeps [V] when the other voice(s) resolve to [I] -- Dr Barry Cooper says in Beethoven and the Creative Process, in connection with op.119, that this is typical for Beethoven's Third Period. Here we have an example of it from the First Period.

Gardi: 12

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