Op. 18, No. 2, Movement 3 - Scherzo - Allegro - Score

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According to Steinberg, the work earned the nickname 'quartet of curtseys' in German speaking countries. The nickname may have originated from one of Haydn's last string quartets written about the same time Op. After he finished the quartet, Beethoven was not satisfied with the second movement and wrote a After he finished the quartet, Beethoven was not satisfied with the second movement and wrote a replacement.

Sketches of the original slow movement survive and a complete version has been reconstructed by musicologist Barry Cooper, and performed for the first time in Be that as it may, Beethoven does not altogether eschew emotionally deeper suggestions, as in the pianissimo change to E flat in the development, with a mysterious fugato; but it is abruptly dismissed, and the movement resumes its witty course, Coming soon to an astonishingly concentrated yet broad approach to the recapitulation.

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The C major Adagio is plain sailing, if one can so describe the concertante decorations of the first violin, joined by the cello in the reprise. Harmonically it avoids 'expression' like the plague.

The plainness recalls the Haydn slow finale already mentioned, not least because Haydn also interrupts his slow music with a presto that sounds like another movement, the interruption suggesting the slow movement to have been a protracted introduction to a quick finale which, however, quickly evaporates, leaving the Adagio in full possession to the end.

In the second movement of a four-movement Quartet, Beethoven makes his quick section pose as the premature arrival of a scherzo, and in returning to the slow music he does not aspire to the immense gravity of Haydn.

Exploring Beethoven’s Quartets: Misha Donat writes about Op.18:2, Op.127 and Op.59:1

Perhaps Beethoven's light-hearted, even sardonic allusion slightly misfires if we draw too close a parallel, and so long as we are not expecting a deep slow movement of which we know Beethoven to be capable even in his early period we can accept this piece as an easy going relaxation during a comedy. The real Scherzo is brilliantly unpredictable, thematically and harmonically, with a C major trio employing sparkling triplets, from which a link leads back to the return.

Beethoven's early scherzos show amazing variety and resource, the answer to Haydn's wistful 'I wish someone would show us a new way to write minuets'. This is still dense stuff and dramatic in different ways, employing single voices or rests at critical junctures. Again, near the conclusion, we're set up for something completely different by a meandering chromatic descent in the cello, taking us through several keys before signaling the return home.

The third movement doesn't really compare to its companions either and Beethoven even manipulates the form. Instead of a minuet and trio, we're offered a hybrid, in which the expected trio sneaks into the minor and is much more buoyant than the opening section. Again, even is this first foray into the form, we find Beethoven looking ahead.

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One has no choice but to smile at his inference to Haydn at the close, ending not with the expected bang, but a pianissimo whimper. I don't think mad Ludwig would mind. I've been taken away from my Beethoven quest for a few days, but have been so much looking forward to the exploration of this piece. While Mozart used it quite sparingly, it did appear in one of his most tempestuous piano sonatas No.

That Beethoven's own best known work--the ominous fifth symphony still never hackneyed to me --illustrates just how he chose to set his most evocative music.

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Other works sharing this key include: That Beethoven would write a "salon piece" as piano trios were then known in this key is more than an anomaly. I count this intensely dramatic work among one of Beethoven's most powerful, himself already testing the bounds of expected form. The inherent pathos of the first movement, with its fits and starts, had to be incredibly original on first hearing.

This concerto, to me, approached Mozart's D-minor work in its darkness and foreboding. Was he looking ahead to his next symphony? What more can be said? It pales in comparison with the other C-minor compositions.

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And the choice of key is coincidental? All six quartets demonstrate that Beethoven had fully absorbed the idiom as used by Mozart and Haydn.

Beethoven, String Quartet No. 6, 3rd. mvt., Scherzo, Allegro

No other composer had matched their sophistication, and Beethoven probably saw himself as their true heir in this genre, as in the symphony In a set of six quartets, one was traditionally in a minor key--in this case No. Some commentators have indeed been sufficiently disturbed to describe the movement as weak and even crude, and to allege that the quartet was written somewhat earlier for which there is no evidence.

Sheet Music

Beethoven seems here to have been deliberately writing music that is uncomfortable, as in the heavy alternation of tonic and dominant chords in bars , and in the jarring C that heralds the development he often used the note C as a disruptive element on later occasions ; perhaps his intention was to heighten the contrast with the other quartets. Barry Cooper Still, my own cursory glance at the score has me more than a bit confused.

Where the heck is the slow movement?


  • Recordings.
  • String Quartet no. 2 in G, Op. 18 no. 2 - Free sheet music.
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Some argue that the first movement is a typical "sonata" form, but it's almost mono thematic. And this finale, with figuration almost resembling Haydn's "Gypsy Rondo," albeit in the wrong key. Here we see among his early forays into the "sonata rondo" form which he would employ in so many of his "mature" compositions.



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