Some MIDI Files of Piano Quartets and Quintets

Here on this web page I've put together MIDI & MP3 files and scores of a group of piano quartets and quintets (and works for related instrumentations) that are the body of repertory for my dissertation, The Piano Quartet and Quintet in Vienna, 1780-1810.

What is posted here is just files made from my Finale scores, which are completely faithful, mostly unedited transcriptions of the early sources, created as the first step towards my eventual goal of creating critical editions. The sources are all autograph or contemporary manuscripts or early printed editions of the works (many being first editions). Where the source is inconsistent, what you hear in these MIDI files will be inconsistent as well, until such time as I can edit the works critically to attempt to resolve such inconsistencies and faulty texts. Graphics of a complete score indicate a relatively finished edition, one that I've edited thoroughly in preparation for preparing parts for performance. Those scores have most of the textual problems resolved through editorial intervention, which is always clearly indicated in the musical text.

While the ornaments in the MIDI files are impleented, almost all repeats are omitted, and I have mostly not worked hard to make the files musically flexible. This is most obviously the case for works that are of least interest to me, such as the Förster work that leads off the pages, which is early, simple, and not really part of the Viennese repertory (it is here only because it is an early work by one of the composers who was crucial to Viennese keyboard chamber music, and because it is perhaps the earliest example of a keyboard quartet with viola).

The MP3 files are made from recording my 1999-era sound card's wavetable synthesizer output. Up-to-date synthesizers and soundfonts can easily sound much better than this primitive equipment, but because many visitors to this web page may have even poorer MIDI playback available to them in the form of low-grade software synthesizers, I felt it was worth it to have something somewhat better for those with broadband Internet access who are able to easily download the MP3 files. By no means do I intend to suggest in posting them that they constitute a satisfactory facsimile of a real musical performance, but I believe they are better than not being able to hear the works at all.

There are surely still some wrong notes in some of these files, and if you hear any I would appreciate hearing from you via email.


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