Emmanuel Alois Förster, Divertimento for Keyboard, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Bb Major (1771)

Kozeluch, Divertimento I for Keyboard, Two Clarinets, Two Horns and Two Bassoons in Eb Major, Postolka V:10

(1780s MS, A-Wn S.m.11391 (XVIII Qu. 230x308. Schuber. 13); arr. for Keyboard, Two Violins, Two Oboes and Two Bassoons; includes all repeats)

This is a rather strange piece, with a faulty source. The title page gives the instrumentation listed above, but the actual parts have the clarinet parts transposed up for violins, with the horn parts transposed up an octave for oboes.

My score presents the actual source, with the transposed parts, but I present two MIDI versions. The first presents what I surmise to be the original version, as listed on the source's title page (which says nothing about the violin and oboe parts). However, the situation is somewhat murky, since the keyboard parts and the oboe parts are in the same hand (the hand that wrote the title page), while the violin and bassoon parts are in two completely different hands (the paper of the keyboard and oboe parts is also the same, while the violin and bassoon parts are copied on two other kinds of paper; only the violin parts are on upright paper). I cannot date the manuscript, for I have found no one who recognizes either the copyists or the paper types (Dexter Edge chief among them).

The second version presents the new instrumentation, with the piano playing the keyboard part. It sounds markedly different from the other version.

Musically, I'm confident that the first version is the best one, for the parts lie much better than in the re-instrumentation, particularly the horns. Specifically, in the second version, the oboes are often above the violins, which play the melody. In the horn version, these parts are beneath the clarinet parts, in the part of the texture that is otherwise quite empty. I am also confident that the keyboard part was written for harpsichord, since it blends much better with the clarinets and horns, while still cutting through the louder textures quite well. The part also exhibits not a single dynamic marking, even though the other parts have quite a few.

Stylistically, the piece seems closer to a pre-1780s musical style, which would be consistent with the harpsichord as the keyboard instrument. The keyboard writing is very simple, though each movement has a section devoted to a keyboard solo. The rest of the time, the keyboard part is thoroughly doubled in the other parts, with the right hand doubled by the clarinets/violins and the left hand doubled by the bassoons. The horn/oboe parts are mostly sustaining parts, but occasionally have thematic material.

I can't say that I find the piece terribly interesting, and would date it to the early 1780s, about the same period as the Albrechtsberger which follows.


Leopold Anton Kozeluch, Divertimento II for Keyboard, Two Clarinets, Two Horns and Two Bassoons in Eb Major, Postolka V:10 (1780s?)
Original Version (with harpsichord -- includes all repeats)
Arranged Version (violins & oboes in place of clarinets & horns, respectively -- includes all repeats) Vogler

(1782, transcribed from Boyer edition of 1783; published later as Opus 4 with ornamentation) It's truly a shame that this piece, which is quite hideous, and clearly shows Vogler to have been a complete charlatan (as I have always suspected) should be one of the earliest of the ones for which I have produced MIDI files. That it occurs near the top of this list is a function of its chronological position only.

However, it must be noted that this quartet was probably intended for amateur and perhaps female keyboard players. The string parts are decidely uninteresting, although there is at least a little color added in the second movement through the use of pizzicato.

There is no evidence that this quartet ever circulated in Vienna, although there were at least four separate French and German editions published between 1782 and 1796. Vogler's Quintet, "Der eheliche Zwist" (The Marriage Spat) was listed in Traeg's 1804 catalogue, however. Believe it or not, that's a better piece.


Georg Joseph Vogler, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Eb Major, Op. 4 (1782)

(published 1785, Hoffmeister, PN 21) This work occupies a very interesting position in the Viennese repertory of keyboard quartets by virtue of having been published by Hoffmeister one plate number away from Mozart's first piano quartet, K. 478 (PN 22). Both works were engraved by the same engraver, and share the same title page layout.

But the actual pieces could not be more different.

The Albrechtsberger is quite archaic, relative to the Mozart, and it is actually a harpsichord concerto. An autograph manuscript of the keyboard part found in the National Library in Budapest is titled "Concerto" (see Somfai, "Albrechtsberger-Eigenschriften," number 16). Further, it could not be more different stylistically as well -- it opens with an instrumental ritornello, in which the keyboard plays only continuo. However, as a concerto, it is of a rudimentary type.

Nonetheless, it is a fairly interesting piece, though it is hardly a quartet at all, since there are really only three independent parts (two violins and continuo).

I have provided a simple realization of the continuo part where necessary.


J.G. Albrechtsberger, Concerto (Quartet) for Harpsichord or FortePiano, Two Violins and Bass in C Major (1785) Hoffmeister Piano Quintet

(1786, Hoffmeister, PN 65) The first movement of this piece is enormously interesting, not so much for its instrumentation (the two violas are fairly unusual in this repertory), but for its interesting thematic and rhythmic construction.

The primary theme is a rather clunky one, and seems rather repetitive. But in the second statement, re-scored for the strings with the piano playing chordal accompaniment patterns, things begin to become more interesting, in a way that reveals one of the chief rhythmic features of this movement. The piece begins with primarily quarter note rhythm, with 8th-note accompaniment. The re-orchestration continues this, but adds a rhythmic pulse on the half measure with the rather slow-sounding piano accompaniment figures. Indeed, it's confusing as to whether the pulse is on the quarter note or the half note. In fact, I believe that the theme has a quarter note pulse, but the piano accompaniment figure in the second statement tends to broaden that by setting up a larger pulse.

Within a few measures, the range of subdivisions of the measure is extended to 16th-notes, so that values from 16th- up to half-note have been introduced. With this range of rhythmic values, the transition proceeds in ordinary fashion, ending with a rather unusual section for the solo strings alone that is closely imitative and rather agitated. It prepares the arrival of the secondary theme in the piano. Again, though, there is a suspension of the pulse, which moves back to the half-note level, and sounds like a relatively large drop in the level of activity. It gives the second theme a character of rhythmic suspension that contrasts quite nicely with the strenuous activity of the section that introduced it.

As with the primary theme, the secondary theme is immediately re-worked for the strings with the piano playing arpeggiated 8th-note accompaniments with one bass note per measure. Where the primary theme started with quarter-note pulse, to which the second statement's piano accompaniment added a half-note pulse. This is exactly the opposite, with the first statement of the theme having a half-note pulse, and the repetition adding more quarter- and 8th-note values. This contrast between the rhythmic pulses of the basic statements of the two themes is exploited in the development section.

The second theme leads directly to the closing section, which takes a truncated version of the second theme and treats it imitatively in the strings, to scalar 16th-note accompaniment in the piano. The effect is lovely.

This imitative technique returns with a vengeance in the development, which, though it opens quite conventionally (with a transposition of the opening of the movement into the dominant), quickly moves into complex and fascinating territory. First, the re-statement of the principle theme in the strings occurs in the parallel minor, g minor, and comes to a stop on a fortissimo Eb chord, launching a wonderful section that reveals the reason for the careful rhythmic organization of the two themes in the exposition. The two themes (the primary theme, and the closing theme version of the second theme) are heard first in counterpoint with each other, and then again in counterpoint, but with imitation of the secondary materials. Harmonically, the movement is from Eb to c minor and on to Ab Major, with the piano finally taking the primary theme (accompanied by the violas, playing what had until this time accompanied only the violin's statement of the primary theme) while the violin plays the second theme (with imitation in the cello). It's a wonderfully full texture that reveals that the themes were planned from the beginning to fit together in this way. The development continues with a modulatory section that leads to the fullest tutti statements of the primary materials that have been heard to this point.

The recapitulation is much more re-worked than is the case in Hoffmeister's 1788 quartets.

I like this piece and find it very interesting to listen to. The interest is heavily weighted toward the development section, which seems fairly unusual for a Hoffmeister piece from this period. The esthetic question that it raises is whether the oddly incomplete sound of the rhythmic structure of the two themes is offset by the payoff of fitting them together in counterpoint for 12 measures in the development. I don't know. Once I've heard the themes together like that, the recapitulation of these themes doesn't sound as rhythmically unsettling. This is a very interesting point, since it elevates the development to a transformational function which I haven't seen in many other pieces from this period.

One other point, in regard to the instrumentation: the top viola part goes below the violin's G string only once, and it often pairs with the violin in thirds and in imitation. But just as often, it joins in textures with the second viola, particularly in imitative passages. I'm not yet sure what to make of this, but it's not a simple case of a violin part having been re-written for viola. One assumes that most violinists of this time were comfortable switching to viola, which would make this piece possible with the same players as could perform piano quintets for the usual instrumentation (piano plus string quartet).

New!The second movement is an unremarkable but attractive slow movement, a bit club-footed, but not without its interest. The form is basically a modified strophic form (not binary), with one strophe moving strongly towards the dominant (V/V is emphasized by the expansion of the key of Ab into a 4-measure period that leads to the transformation of the key of Ab into the augmented 6th chord of G, i.e., V of V in F). The disposition of the instruments is also of some interest. In the main theme, the usual exchange of materials between piano and instruments occurs, but throughout the rest of the movement, there's a clear deliniation between piano/violin and the remaining instruments, with the two violins and cello functioning as tutti against the piano/violin solo. I don't recall seeing this texture elsewhere in Hoffmeister's works, and it may be the fruit of the unusual instrumentation.

New!The third movement is of a typical rondo/variation form seen in other Hoffmeister works. Rather than being a full-fledged rondo, it is more a set of variations on a recurring theme, but with incidental materials inserted between them. The key relationships are much like those of a traditional rondo, with the tonic followed by the relative minor, a return of the tonic, then a move to the subdominant, a return to the tonic, a somewhat developmental move to the parallel minor and then a lengthy return to the tonic. The crucial difference from the rondo is that with the exception of the materials in the parallel minor, all the thematic material is derived by straightforward figural variation techniques from the main theme. One other notable feature in the theme is the dramatic pause immediately before each concluding cadence.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quintet for Piano, Violin, Two Violas and Violoncello in C Major (1785) Hoffmeister Piano Quartet No. 1, Bb

(1788, Hoffmeister, PN 158; complete) This is a very large-scale piece that has grown on me as I've come to know it. There are some very good moments in it, despite it's rather extensive use of literal repetition. It is the first of a group of six published without opus number in 1788, but all six were not created equal. The first four are of equal scale to this Bb quartet, but the last two are very small scale (the last is only two movements). In fact, the last three were published together under one plate number, while the first three were each separate issues, each with its own plate number (and, presumably, in the first printing, each with its own title page).

It is particularly interesting to note the virtuosic viola part in the first movement. This characteristic is shared with Förster's Opus 8, but does not appear in the other quartets of Hoffmeister's 1788 opus.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Bb Major, #1 (1788) Hoffmeister Piano Quartet No. 2, G

(1788, Hoffmeister, PN 167) The second of the 1788 quartets is obviously constructed on a scale equal to that of the Bb quartet. The texture of the first movement, with it's frequent octave doubling of the melodic material in piano and violin, is quite similar in sound to Haydn's Piano Trios. Yet, although the texture sounds quite simple, as if the violin is just doubling an independent piano part, the interdependency of the parts is more complex than meets the eye (or ear). In fact, the piano part could not stand on its own in many sections, for the bass line is often absent. In this respect, the cello part is substantially more important than those found in Haydn's trios.

This deceptively ingenious texture contrasts nicely with the more straightforward sound of the first quartet.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in G Major, #2 (1788) Hoffmeister Piano Quartet No. 3, Eb

(1788, Hoffmeister, PN 176) The third of the 1788 quartets and is also on a relatively ambitious scale. This is one of those typical "E-flat" pieces, that begins with a long pedal tone (rather similar to the Bb quartet as well), but this one has the characteristic rising antecedent with a soft beginning followed by a dramatic and louder consequent (the opposite of the Bb quartet).

There are many fine details in this first movement, particularly the idiosyncratic second theme, and a fairly expansive development section, which introduces a new theme and interesting sequential treatment of thematic materials (but then falls into Hoffmeister's stereotypical excessive repetition), and a recapitulation that is relatively more unpredictable than Hoffmeister's usual.

The other two movements are both quite interesting, particularly the last.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Eb Major, #3 (1788)

Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello #4 in C Major

Published 1788, Hoffmeister, Vienna, PN 179.

Commentary to be written.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in C Major, #4 (1788)

Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello #5 in A Major

Published 1788, Hoffmeister, Vienna, PN 179.

Commentary to be written.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in A minor/Ma, #5 (1788)
(complete in one movement with slow introduction)

Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello #6 in F Major

Published 1788, Hoffmeister, Vienna, PN 179.

Commentary to be written.


Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in F Major, #6 (1788)
(complete in one variation movement) Förster Op. 8, No. 1

(1794, André PN 734) This piece has some concerto-like features, and the interaction between the strings and the piano is quite interesting, and relatively complex for the early 1790s (though it doesn't even begin to approach the complexity of Mozart's quartets from nearly 10 years earlier).

Of particular note is the complete re-writing of the primary materials in the recapitulation.


Emmanuel Alois Förster, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Bb Major, Op. 8, #1 (1794) Brandl Op. 13

(1794, André PN 1094) At first glance, this piece appears not to be enormously interesting musically, because the thematic materials of the first movement are not particularly memorable. Overall the piece is notable for its bassoon part, which plays a soloistic role in all three movements, oftentimes pairing off with the first violin part in thirds or in imitation.

There are some very nice details in this piece, particularly the frequent use of imitation, and the piano writing is fairly good. Indeed, the piano writing becomes quite virtuosic in the modulatory sections of the first and last movements, very much approaching a concerto-like treatment of the keyboard part (especially in the rondo).

More interesting still are the proportions in the first movement. The development section is much more extensive than in most of the pieces from this period. But the development is also notable in that it is based not on the primary and secondary themes, but on the material of the Exposition's transition. It also introduces a new theme in the key of Bb.

The final movement has its rustic charm, and an emphasis on augmented sixth chords to reinforce some of the more remote keys (including Ab and A!). The final return of the rondo theme is marred by the poor transition (virtually none at all) from A major back to the return of the F Major tonic (a four-measure passage in a minor unsuccessfully serves to partially bridge the harmonic distance).

The slow movement integrates all the parts to the fullest extent, and is really quite lovely.


Johann Evangelist Brandl, Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Bassoon and Violoncello in F Major, Op. 13 (1794) Fôrster Op. X

(Eder, Vienna, 1795, André's Opus 11, #2, 1796, PN 957) This is a fairly interesting piece, and it exhibits quite a few of E.A. Förster's typical stylistic characteristics. Indeed, some of Förster's contemporaries thought his music rather strange (reviews in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung remark more than once that his pieces are rather odd, and tend to be more difficult than they need be). Notable is that Förster's opening themes tend to be somewhat weak (as in the first movement and in the rondo theme of the last), but that his development sections can be quite complicated and wander quite far. The first movement moves from the Bb that concludes the exposition first through Gb, then into D Major (change of key signature to C) before settling in C Major for a recall of the secondary theme (following an extended section in C's dominant). C's parallel minor is used to launch the transition back to the tonic.

In the sonata form movements, it is very common for there to be extensive imitation between the parts, with all three stringed instruments participating as equals. This is in contrast to Hoffmeister's use of imitiation, which is usually only between the violin and the piano, and occasionally between violin and viola. Förster involves all three stringed instruments, but seldom includes the piano in any significant imitation, unless only one or two of the stringed instruments is participating.

The final movement is also quite notable for a 35-measure dominant pedal that prepares the final return of the rondo theme (in a 422-measure piece). The stringed instruments begin the dominant pedal in imitation, with many suspensions, accompanied by arpeggios in the piano. The arpeggios continue throughout, but the imitation eventually dies away. Indeed, by its very length, this dominant preparation is quite effective in preparing the return of the main theme.

The other two movements (particularly the second) are charming, but relatively small-scale.


Emmanuel Alois Förster, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in Eb Major, Op. X, #3 (1795) Förster Op. 10, No. 1

(1796, André PN 954) No commentary yet.


Emmanuel Alois Förster, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in G Major, Op. 10, #1 (1796) Förster Op. 10, No. 2

(1796, André PN 955) No commentary yet.


Emmanuel Alois Förster, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in C Major, Op. 10, #2 (1796) Fodor Op. 7, No. 2

(1797, André PN 1007) This is a piece of non-Viennese origin that was available in Vienna (it was advertised in the Wiener Zeitung in September of 1797). It's quite unlike any of the pieces around it on this page, and seems to me to be from a completely different stylistic world. More on this later when I can spare more time.


Carolus Antonius Fodor, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in C Major, Op. 7, #2 (1797)

Mozart, Clarinet Quintet (K581), Arranged for Piano Quartet

Published 1802, Artaria, Vienna, PN 1561.
Also collated with Schott PN 523, 1811.

Before discussing how this arrangement relates to Mozart's original work, it is necessary to point out that we don't really have full knowledge of Mozart's original, as the autograph manuscript has been lost since before 1800. The NMA edition is based on the first edition (André, 1802 -- the sources André used for his edition are unknown), and when I speak of the original in the following passage, I'm referring to the original insofar as it is represented in the NMA's edition of it. However, one must recognize that this edition is from the mid-50s, and NMA editorial policies at that time were, er, rather less rigorous than we would like in some cases, and sometimes resulted in the printing of readings derived from later editions (mostly the earlier Breitkopf & Härtel Gesamtausgabe) that were silently presented as though derived from the original sources.

It is not known who produced this arrangement, though it has been erroneously attribute it to Gelinek (it is dedicated to Gelinek). The arrangement is not terribly complex -- it often takes over the string parts from the original, giving the clarinet and any leftover parts to the piano. The frequency of this disposition suggests the possibility that the keyboard part in quartets was considered soloistic, though it may be that this was simply the most convenient way to adapt the piece in this case.

But aside from that, the arrangement nonetheless has a number of interesting aspects. The strings parts are not always taken over directly from the original, even when it would work well to do so. This is especially evident in the slow movement, where the piano doubles the accompaniment figures in the strings. While the figuration of the piano part's inner voices duplicates the harmonic content of the original (but not the figuration, which would not work well), the string parts alter it in various locations, for reasons that are not obvious to me.

Another area where the arrangement departs from the original is in the dynamics and articulations. This is particular evident in the last movement, where Mozart's very clear dynamics/articulation pattern is only partially replicated in the arrangement. Indeed, it seems as though the arranger is trying to impose a different dynamic profile on the movement. This is also true to a lesser degree of the Minuet and both Trios. There are also a number of cases where accents (usually "fp") are applied that are not found in the original, and while they may not actually contradict the original, do not seem to me to be an obviously implied nuance (e.g., Mvt. I, mm. 23-24).

Last of all, while the discussion above tacitly assumes that the arrangement (which first appeared in 1802, shortly after the publication of the first edition by André) was produced from the original as printed in André's first edition, there are certain aspects of the text that suggest the possibility of derivation from other sources. In particular, there are a number of places in the NMA text where figuration is obviously adjusted for the range of the clarinet (and the editors of the NMA suggest that the instrument for which Mozart wrote this actually had a range that extended beyond that of the stnadard clarinet of the time). In the arrangement, it is obviously the case that the limits of the range of the clarinet no longer apply, especially for materials played by the piano. But it is notable that there are cases where the alterations of figuration are not necessarily obvious, such as in measures 40-41, where the scale extends all the way down, instead of turning upward to avoid exceeding the bottom notes of the clarinet. While it's certainly plausible that a good arranger would reoognize figuration that was adjusted from its ideal shape to fit the range of an instrument, and then be able to recover the non-adjusted shape, it is also possible that these details reflect some other source for the arrangement, one with different readings for the clarinet figuration than that in André's first edition.


W.A. Mozart, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in A Major, Op. 100, K581, arranged from the Clarinet Quintet, K581 (1802) Förster Octet

(after the composer's autograph, dated Feb. 25, 1802; A-Wn S.m.1162 ch. XVIII) This is a very problematic but highly interesting work. The autograph was obviously a composing manuscript, as it exhibits both numerous corrections and entire crossed-out sections. But measure numbers in the autograph suggest that parts were prepared and that there was at least one performance.

The problems are in the text of the music, which includes numerous unresolved and ineffective cross relations, and more than one section where parallel fifths are quite audible. The slow introduction is highly dissonant, as are numerous other passages in the movement. Indeed, the movement is filled with diminished seventh chords, and Förster seems to have been quite fond of leaving dissonant tones unresolved, as heard in the alternating string and wind chords that accompany the concerto-like piano part at the beginning of development. To my ear, these unresolved chords sound harsh, incomplete and unsuccessful.

The piano writing is relatively virtuosic, with notes as small as 128th-notes in the slow introduction. Indeed, many sections resemble the piano concerto in the balance of the instruments, with relatively simple instrumental parts which mostly serve an accompanimental role. This is quite in contrast to the piano/wind works of both Mozart and Beethoven. The first theme is quite dull, and when the violone enters, becomes rather awkward and almost comical. Yet, the second theme, with its oboe solo, is quite lovely.

For this MIDI performance, I've corrected the parallel fifths, but left all the other parts of the text unaltered (the edition will print the original text with suggested emendations). MIDI instruments are relatively inflexible, and because of this, the sforzandi at the beginning of the slow introduction are rather awkward and unpleasant sounding.

The listener should be prepared for the end of the MIDI file, which ends on a dominant seventh chord.


Emmanuel Alois Förster, Octet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Oboe, Bassoon, Horn and Violone in Eb Major (1802)
(exposition and development only–the MIDI file ends on the dominant seventh chord immediately preceding the recapitulation) Eberl Op. 18

(1802, Bureau d'Arts et d'Industrie, Vienna, PN 55) Like the piece which follows, I can't say enough about how wonderful and interesting this work is. Like Opus 25, this piece exhibits several features that are stereotypically said to be characteristic of the style of certain famous composers. The presence of these elements in these pieces by Eberl suggests that these elements may be more characteristic of Viennese style than of individual composers

In this case the feature is the kind of common-tone modulation most often associated with the mature Schubert, who was only five years old at the time this piece was published. The slow introduction to the first movement ends with a prominent 4th scale degree, the 7th of the dominant seventh, which is picked up as the starting note of the main theme (same register, different instrument). This memorable join is exploited at the end of the exposition, which ends with a prominant #4. For the repeat, this resolves downward to the natural 4, but for the development, the #4 is treated in the same way as at the end of the introduction, thus effecting a modulation into Db, the Neopolitan, by exploiting the similarity with the join between the introduction and the first theme. The key of Db is used to modulate to Bb Major, by way of bb minor, g minor and Eb Major. Eb Major is used to modulate to c minor, and, hence, back to the tonic for the recapitulation.

Interestingly, as in the g minor quartet, Op. 25, the first theme is not recapitulated, except in so far as it plays an important role in the coda.

The second movement is one of the loveliest I've encountered in this repertory so far. It is rather similar in style to some of Beethoven's songful variation slow movements (e.g., Op. 7, Op. 22, Op. 90). It is also notable in its frequent use of offbeat accents.

New!The 3rd and 4th movements have taken me some time to put together, as both have presented a major interpretive problem -- Eberl uses the forte mark, "f", as an accent as well as to indicate a change in dynamics. This made it rather complex to engrave both, as I had to choose in my engraving whether each "f" was an accent or a dynamic mark (because of the way Finale differentiates accents/articulations, which apply to a single note, from dynamics, which apply from the point at which they appear forward). This has extremely important implications for performance practice, as this is not something frequently seen in other music. I spent quite a bit of time going through Beethoven's Piano Sonatas from around 1800, and did find exactly this same kind of usage of "f" in Op. 22, for instance. In the edition I have (the Schenker, which is reliable in some ways and unreliable in others), it seems that the first "f" in a string of accent "f's" indicates a change of dynamics to a louder level, whereas accents in a software dynamic context, ones that do not change the dynamic level, are initiatied with "sf" or "fz." And often, you will see "f" for the first accent and "sf" for subsequent accents. In a certain sense, the first one is a forte that has the effect of an accent, as it is subito forte, whereas a simple "sf" would not clearly indicate any overall switch of dynamic level. Eberl seems to follow the same practice, with groups of accents often commencing with "f" and continuing with "sf." However, there is also often a difference between the notation of simultaneously sounding parts that is not explained by the dynamic contexts of the individual parts. That is, "f, sf, sf" in one part is often sounded simultaneously and in the same rhythm with "sf, sf, sf" even when both of the passages begin at the same dynamic level. The converse is also true, where "f, sf, sf" in one part is accompanied by "f, f, f" in another part. I can find no consistent interpretation except to treat the "f" in those contexts as interchangeable with "sf."

New!I will soon be reworking the first two movements to reflect these discoveries of mine and it will remove much of the awkwardness of the original interpretation where I treated every "f" as a dynamic marking. I will also leave the original MIDI files available for comparison.

New!Musically the last two movements are nearly as interesting as the first two. Both the minuet and the rondo prominently feature offbeat accents, just as is common in both of the first two movements. In comparison to the Op. 25 Quartet (below), the rondo is a weightier movement in comparison to what comes before it, but overall, the Op. 25 Quartet is substantially more complex and harmonically more adventuresome.


Anton Eberl, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in C Major, Op. 18 (1802) CLement Op. 3

(1802-3, Bureau d'Arts et d'Industrie, Vienna, PN 61) Franz Clement was the violinist for whom the Beethoven Violin Concerto was written. This piece is rather different in style than the Eberl pieces on either side of it, but this is as much a function of the key/affect as it is of the basic musical style. The development is quite involved, and like the Hoffmeister Quintet of 1786, seems to bear most of the weight of the movement. More on this as I have time to write more.


Franz Clement, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in D Major, Op. 3 (1802-3) Eberl Op. 25

(1804, Weigl PN 578) This is a superb piece with lots of interesting harmonic, thematic and textural surprises.

The obvious point of comparison for it is Mozart's g minor quartet, K. 478. The similarities at the beginning are striking, not just in key and mood, but in phrase structure and overall formal construction.

This piece is on a far more ambitious scale than the previous ones, but that is representative of it's later date. The harmony is substantially more adventurous than Hoffmeister's or Förster's, and the sprawling sonata form is very much what was foreshadowed in the works of Mozart.

In this case, the interest, as in Mozart's works, is in the overabundance of thematic material: there is a mini-theme in the middle of the transition in the exposition; the closing theme brings back the primary materials, but turned toward the major; and the development introduces an entirely new theme. None of these things is unusual by itself, but the conjunction of them along with the interesting recapitulation point the way towards the expanded sonata forms of the 19th century.

The recapitulation omits the primary theme, instead commencing with the second theme in the parallel major (it was originally in Bb major). This theme is never recapitulated in the tonic key. The tonic key returns rather abruptly at the re-introduction of the primary-material-related closing theme, materials which originally turned towards the relative major, but are now altered to move back towards the tonic. These closing materials are greatly expanded in the recapitulation. This elaboration of materials related to the primary theme probably balances its ommission at the beginning of the recapitulation. This is also the reason that I have omitted a repeat of the second half, even though it is called for in the first edition, although there is no indication of the pickup notes characteristic of the primary theme, which are needed to return to the development..

The key of Eb plays a pivotal role, being the key of both the "freebie" themes (in the transition and the development). The development theme is a fully developed double period, but it is not allowed to close. Instead, it's dominant (Bb) serves to launch a modulatory section based on the primary materials which lead to a very short dominant pedal and a rather startling drop into G Major for the recapitulation of the second theme.

This introduction of these "extra" themes was something that Mozart often did, and the vast expansion of the closing materials after the recap is something for which Beethoven is noted. Eberl was a well respected composer who was active in Vienna during the era bridging the two more famous composers' active periods there. It is not at all surprising that this 1804 work should have so many features in common with the works that have made it into the canon. Clearly, many of these characteristics are aspects of the Viennese musical style of the period more than they are personal style characteristics of any of the particular composers.


Anton Eberl, Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Violoncello in g minor, Op. 25 (1804)

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