Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 for orchestra
Beethoven, Ludwig van / orch. Hessen, Alexander Friedrich von
Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in F minor, Op. 95
arranged for orchestra (1898) by
Alexander Friedrich von Hessen
(b. Copenhagen, 25 January 1863 – d. Fronhausen-on-Lahn, 25 March 1945)
I Allegro con brio (p. 3)
II Allegretto ma non troppo (p. 18)
III Allegro assai vivace ma serioso (p. 28) – Più allegro (p. 39)
IV Larghetto espressivo – Allegretto agitato (p. 41) – Allegro (p. 52)
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his eleventh string quartet in F minor in the years 1810-11 and revised it in 1814 for the public première of the Schuppanzigh Quartet. In analogy with the extraordinary performance instruction for its Scherzo he called it ‚Quartetto serioso’. This very compact work was published in print in 1816. The autograph manuscript is lost. After the revision in 1814, it took ten years until Beethoven returned to the quartet genre and commenced his legendary series of late quartets in 1824 with the twelfth string quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127.
Later on, it has become common practice to perform this quartet with string orchestra forces as well – most of the time in an arrangement by Gustav Mahler, as is the case with Franz Schubert’s string quartet in D minor ‚Death and the Maiden’. As both of these arrangements are not of any particular significance they can be successfully substituted by any other competent arrangement.
On the other hand, Alexander Friedrich Landgrave of Hessen’s transcription for classical orchestra dresses the quartet in a completely new instrumental physiognomy. With his mother Maria Anna Friederike of Prussia (1836-1918) he had made the acquaintance of some great musicians already in his childhood in Frankfurt-on-Main and Wiesbaden and cultivated many of these friendships a whole lifetime: with Joachim Raff, Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg, Engelbert Humperdinck, Louis Lüstner et al. Following a rather conservative musical education he embraced the revolutionary ’Neudeutsche’ (New German) School as well and was active and well-respected as a composer.
Alexander Friedrich von Hessen completed his orchestration of Beethoven’s ’Quartetto serioso’ in 1898. The arrangement was published in print by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig. The work carries the dedication “To Capellmeister Louis Lüstner in faithful adoration“. Lüstner was music director of the Wiesbaden Kurhaus Orchestra from its foundation in 1874 until 1905. He led the world première performances of the symphonies nos. 7-11 of his friend Joachim Raff, and he also conducted the première of the orchestral arrangement of Beethoven’s quartet Op. 95 by Alexander Friedrich von Hessen that is herewith made available for the first time in study size.
Christoph Schlüren, May 2017.
Performance materials are obtainable from the original publisher Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden (www.breitkopf.com).
Vorwort Deutsch lesen > HERE