Andante (First version of String Quartet op. 18 nr.4) Gardi 21 (1799) mp3 version

Andante (First version of String Quartet op. 18 nr.4) Gardi 21 (1799) mp3 version
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Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
Length: 1:47
Andante (First version of String Quartet op. 18 nr.4), Gardi 21 (1799)
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Author: Mark S. Zimmer
Length: 1:45
Andante (First version of String Quartet op. 18 nr.4) (1799) When Beethoven was working on his set of six string quartets, op. 18, he had a number of false starts. One of the most famous is the first version of op. 18 nr. 1, which he rather substantially reworked with the comment that he had only recently learned how to write for quartet. An even more dramatic, but far less well known, example is the abortive second movement andante for the fourth string quartet. This proud yet contemplative torso is almost painfully beautiful in its simplicity and spiritual longing. Beethoven wrote the first two sections, the first consisting of eight bars, and the second of sixteen, both repeated, in full score. The next section falls apart rather quickly as the cello adopts a nervous posture against the first violin's notes off the beat that suddenly turn into harmonic explorations that would have been shocking in 1800. Obviously discontented with where it was taking him, Beethoven started over from scratch, abandoning this wonderful little fragment. This score in cut time, labelled "Andante" and obviously scored for quartet, is found in the British Library sketch miscellany Add. Ms 29997, folio 8r, and has never been published in full. A sketch for the first theme can also be found in the Grasnick 2 sketchbook at page 64, and thus it most likely dates from about the summer of 1799. Our thanks to Sieghard Brandenburg, late of the Beethovenhaus Archive in Bonn, for bringing these materials to our attention. We present this beginning of a quartet movement in both midi form and mp3, the latter using samples from Garritan Personal Orchestra. A world premiere for The Unheard Beethoven.

Gardi: 21
Opus: 18

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