1 - Op. 18
1tes [-6tes] Quartett... 2 Violinen, Viola und Violoncello... 18tes Werk. Wien: Tobias Haslinger [without plate number] [ca. 1840].
Vl I: 1f. (title),  (blank), 2-12; 1f. (title),  (blank), 2-11; 1f. (title),  (blank), 2-11; 1f. (title), 9; 1f. (title), 9; 1f. (title), 9 pp.
Vl II: 9; 8; 9; 8; 8; 8 pp.
Va: 9; 7; 8; 8; 8; 8 pp.
Vc: 9; 7; 8; 7; 8; 7 pp.
Engraved. Kinsky p. 44. Hoboken 2, 96 and 97.
"It was to the set of String Quartets, op. 18, that Beethoven turned for the most ambitious single project of his early Vienna years. This set was begun in 1798, composed primarily in 1799 and 1800, and published in 1801 with a dedication to Prince Lobkowitz... All of them essentially accept the usual four-movement structure and all reflect the Viennese Classic style, with an occasional admixture of Italianate melody - perhaps under the influence of Salieri, to whom Beethoven had just dedicated his Sonatas, op. 12." Solomon: Beethoven, p. 101.
2 - Op. 59
[Trois Quatuors pour deux Violons, Alto et Violoncello... Oeuvre 59]. [Vienne: Au Bureau des arts et d'industrie A' Pesth chez Schreyvogel & Comp. [PNs 580, 585, 585] .
Vl I: 2ff. (title, dedication to Count Razumovsky),  (blank), 2-13;  (blank), 2-11; 10 pp.
Vl II: 10; 9; 9 pp.
Va: 10;  (blank), 2-9;  (blank), 2-10 pp.
Vc: 10; 9;  (blank) 2-9 pp.
Engraved. First Edition of the Razumovsky quartets. Kinsky-Halm, p. 141. Dorfmüller, p. 216. Hirsch IV, 299. Hoboken 2, 274.
"The string quartets of op. 59 so strained the medium, as it was understood in 1806, that they met with resistance from players and audiences alike... Each quartet was supposed to include a Russian melody, for the benefit of the dedicatee Count Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador in Vienna. Here for the first time may be seen Beethoven's interest in folksong, which was to grow in later years. Folksongs did not much help the first two quartets, but Razumovsky's notion came to superb fruition in the third, where Beethoven gave up the idea of incorporating pre-existing tunes and instead wrote the haunting A minor Andante in what he must have conceived to be a Russian idiom." The New Grove Vol. 2, p. 383.
3 - Op. 74
Quatuor pour Deux Violons, Viola et Violoncelle composé et dédié à Son Altesse le Prince Regnant de Lobkowitz Duc de Raudnitz... Oeuv. 74. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel [PN] 1609 .
Vl I:  (title),  (blank), 3-11 pp.
Vl II: 7 pp.
Vla: 7 pp.
Vc: 7 pp.
Engraved. First German edition, second issue (distinguished by the presence of "Adagio" at the head of the slow movement in the first issue and "Adagio ma non troppo" in the second). Published very shortly after the Clementi edition (see Del Mar: Beethoven's String Quartets op. 74 op. 95 Critical Commentary, pp. 14-15). Kinsky p. 198; Hirsch IV, 320; Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 220; Hoboken 2, 333 (all citing the Breitkopf edition as the first).
Often referred to as the "harp" quartet; the name derives from the pizzicato effects in the first movement.
4 - Op. 95
Elftes Quartett für zwey Violinen, Bratsche und Violoncelle Seinem Freunde dem Herrn Hofsekretär Nik. Zmeskall von Domanovetz ... 95tes Werk. Wien: S.A. Steiner und Comp. [PN S. et C. 2580] .
Vl. I: 1f. (title, v. blank),  (publisher's announcement dated February 1816), 2-9 pp.
Vl II:  (blank), 2-9 pp.
Vla:  (blank), 2-9 pp.
Vc:  (blank), 2-9 pp.
Engraved. First Edition, variant issue (distinguished by the presence of a diminuendo sign in measure 21 and a crescendo sign in measure 22 in the third movement of the second violin part). Del Mar P 1-1/2, p. 17. Kinsky-Halm p. 268. Hirsch IV, 355. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 224. Hoboken 2, 409.
"The Quartets in Eb and F minor were written about a year apart, then: an appreciable span of time, by Beethoven's earlier standards. But on this occasion, nothing of first importance appears to have occupied him in between. There would seem to be every reason to consider the two quartets together, in the same way that we naturally group together the six quartets, Op. 18, or the three of Op. 59. Indeed, the two share certain technical proclivities - in the attitude toward sonata form, for example, and toward the key sequence of movements - and both exhibit a poise and control that mark a decided advance over the earlier period (or sub-period). Nonetheless, between the two there is a cleavage in aesthetic stance unlike anything that differentiates the "Razumovsky" Quartets from one another. The Eb Quartet is an open, unproblematic, lucid work of consolidation, like some others written at this time. The F minor Quartet is an involved, impassioned, highly idiosyncratic piece, problematic in every one of its movements, advanced in a hundred ways. One work looks backward, perhaps, the other forward. Or to put it better, one work looks outward, the other inward. It would be hard to imagine any composer grouping these antipodes together as a single opus." Kerman: The Beethoven Quartets, p. 156.
We would like to thank Dr. Jonathan Del Mar for his kind assistance in the identification of this issue.
5 - Op. 127
Quatuor pour deux Violons, Alto et Violoncelle composé et dédié à Son Altesse Monseigneur le Prince Nicolas Galitzin... Oeuvre 127. Mayence: les fils de B. Schott [PN] 2351 [March 1826].
Vl I: 1f. (title, v. blank),  (blank), 2-13 pp.
Vl II:  (title), 2-12 pp.
Va:  (title), 2-11 pp.
Vc:  (title), 2-11 pp.
Title lithographed, music engraved. First Edition. Kinsky-Halm p. 385. Hirsch IV, 399. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 232. Hoboken 2, 510. Schott also published this work in Paris at about the same time.
6 - Op. 130
Troisième Quatuor pour 2 Violons, Alte & Violoncelle des Quatuors composés et dediés A Son Altesse Monseigneur le Prince Nicolas de Galitzin... Oeuvre 130... Ecrit et piquire par A. Kurka. Vienne: Maths. Artaria [PN M.A. 871] [May 1827].
Vl I:  (title), 2-15 pp.
Vl II: 13 pp.
Va: 11 pp., with manuscript overpaste to page 7
Vc: 11 pp.
Engraved throughout. Small oval publisher's blindstamp to lower margins. Binder's holes to inner margin. First Edition, variant issue, with music commencing on verso of title to first violin part. Kinsky-Halm p. 395 (describing another printing with blank verso to title). Hirsch IV, 403. Hoboken 2, 516.
7 - Op. 131
Grand Quatuor En Ut dièze mineur pour deux Violons alto et Violoncelle composé et dédié à Son Excellence Monsieur Le Baron de Stutterhiem... Oeuvre 131. Mayence: les fils de B. Schott [PN] 2628 [June 1827].
Vl I: 1f. (title, v. blank), 13 pp.
Vl II:  (title), 2-13 pp.
Va:  (title), 2-13 pp.
Vc:  (title), 2-13 pp.
Lithographic titles, music engraved. First Edition. Kinsky-Halm p. 399. Hirsch IV, 405. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 233.
8 - Op. 132
Quatuor pour 2 Violons, Alto & Violoncelle Composé & Dédié à Son Altesse Monseigneur le Prince Nicolas de Galitzin... Oeuvre posthume. Oeuv 132. No. 12 des Quatuors. Berlin: Ad. Mt. Schlesinger... Paris: Maurice Schlesinger [PN] 1443 [Sept. 1827].
Vl I:  (title), - (blank), 4-19 pp.
Vl II:  (title), 2-15 pp.
Va:  (title), 2-15 pp.
Vc:  (title), 2-15 pp.
Engraved throughout. Small oval publisher's stamp to lower corners of title. First Edition. Kinsky-Halm p. 402. Hirsch IV, 407. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 233. Hoboken 2, 521.
9 - Op. 133
Grande Fugue tantôt libre, tantôt recherché 2 Violons, Alte & Violoncelle. Dediée avec les plus profonde vénération A Son Altesse Imperiale et Royale Eminentissime Monseigneur le Cardinal Rodolphe... Oeuvre 133. Vienne: Math. Artaria [PN M.A. 877] [May 1827].
Vl I:  (title),  (blank), 3-10 pp.
Vl II:  (blank), 9 pp.
Va:  (blank), 2-9 pp.
Vc:  (blank), 2-9 pp.
Engraved throughout. First Edition. Kinsky-Halm p. 405. Hirsch IV, 409. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 234. Hoboken 2, 524.
10 - Op. 135
Quatuor pour 2 Violons Alto & Violoncelle Composé & dédié à son ami Johann Wolfmeier... Oeuvre posthume. Oeuv. 135. No. 17 des Quatuors. Berlin: Ad. Mt. Schlesinger... Paris: Maurice Schlesinger [PN] 1444] [Sept. 1827].
Vl I: 1f. (title, v. blank),  (blank), 2-11 pp.
Vl II: 1f. (title, v. blank), 9 pp.
Va: 1f. (title, v. blank), 9 pp.
Vc:  (title), 2-8 pp.
Engraved throughout. With printed initials "FJ" to lower right corner of title, possibly those of the engraver. First Edition. Kinsky-Halm p. 410. Hirsch IV, 412. Dorfmüller-Weinhold p. 234. Hoboken 2, 528.
"[The late period quartets] carry not merely the string quartet but the art of music into new regions. Studies of them and commentaries on them are innumerable; like Hamlet they will never yield up their last secrets or admit of a 'final' solution. They are inexhaustible and all that can be done here is to indicate in what ways they advance the frontiers of the art of music. The first to be completed (in 1824), and the only one published during Beethoven's lifetime, was the E flat, Op. 127. Then came the A minor, Op. 132, and the B flat, Op. 130 (but with the afterwards separated Grosse Fuge, Op. 133, as its finale) (both 1825), the C sharp minor, Op. 131, the F major, Op. 135, and the present finale of Op. 130 (all in 1826). The immediate impulse to their composition may have been given by a commission from another quartet-playing Russian nobleman, the Prince 'von Galitzin' (more accurately 'Golitsïn) to whom Opp. 127, 130, and 132 are dedicated... Beethoven's deafness and consequent spiritual isolation combined with certain specifically musical factors to make many things in the last quartets incomprehensible to contemporaries and not easily comprehensible to later generations." Abraham: The Age of Beethoven 1790-1830, Vol. VIII of The New Oxford History of Music, pp. 295-296.
Four volumes. Folio. 19th century quarter cloth with marbled boards, titling gilt to spines and upper boards. Each part with collection number stamped to upper outer margin throughout. 19th century thematic index to Volume I. With neat performance markings in pencil to first violin parts throughout and occasional additional markings in pencil and red crayon to other parts.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed and bumped. Occasional foxing and wear. In very good condition overall. Item #26772
Price: $18,500.00 other currencies