Op 23 String Quartets

String Quartets op 23 - 'The Prussian'

Title page of Wranitzky's String Quartets Op. 23 as published by André in 1793.
Title page of Wranitzky's Quartets op 23
As one of Vienna's leading violinists, it comes as no surprise that the genre of string quartet figures prominently in Wranitzky's œuvre. As leader of the orchestras of both court theaters- the Burgtheater and the Kärntnertortheater, he had easy access to some of the finest players in Vienna. His intimate status with the Imperial court of Franz II and Marie Therese gave him opportunity for patronage. Wranitzky's music was extremely popular with both the nobility and the general public. Some fifty quartets were published during his lifetime and distributed throughout Europe, which confirms his immense popularity.

André of Offenbach published the six Op. 23 string quartets in June 1793 in two volumes, each containing three quartets. Later editions appeared by both Sieber and Imbault. While many of Wranitzky's chamber and symphonic works bear dedications to European nobles, these six quartets were written for the actual performance by an accomplished musician and royal. Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia (r. 1786-1797), was a reputable cellist and many notable composers eagerly sought his patronage. This situation proved to be beneficial to both him and the composers - and added some significant pieces to the chamber music literature. Among these are Beethoven's two Cello Sonatas, Op. 5, and Mozart's so-called "Prussian Quartets" (K. 575, 589, and 590).

The quartets were written in the popular 'Concertante' style, which gave each of the four instruments important and often virtuosic parts. Appropriately, the cello part in these quartets is given special emphasis, with their royal dedicatee in mind.

by James Ackerman & Robert Bonkowski

String Quartet op 23 no 1 - C major

incipit
I. Allegro con spirito Listen to midi file of Movement
252 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
120 bars
III. Menuetto: Un poco Allegretto & Trio Listen to midi file of Movement
36&30 bars
IV. Finale: Allegro scherzo Listen to midi file of Movement
342 bars

Download: Full Score Parts
Edition by Daniel Bernhardsson & James Ackerman

 

String Quartet op 23 no 2 - E minor

incipit
I. Allegro Listen to midi file of Movement
282 bars
II. Adagio - Allegretto - Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
85 bars
III. Finale: Tempo di Menuetto Listen to midi file of Movement
171 bars

Download: Full Score Parts
Edition by Daniel Bernhardsson & James Ackerman

Listen to midi file of Movement Mvt. 1 recorded by the Hempfield High School string quartet, Landisville PA, USA
Jason Kim, Shuxin Zhan - violins, Hanna Pederson - viola, Nathan Lavender - cello

 

String Quartet op 23 no 3 - A major

incipit
I. Allegro con spirito Listen to midi file of Movement
238 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
32 bars
III. Rondo: Non troppo Allegro Listen to midi file of Movement
166 bars

Download: Full Score Parts
Edition by Daniel Bernhardsson & James Ackerman

 

String Quartet op 23 no 4 - Eb major

I. Allegro moderato
217 bars
II. Adagio - Menuetto Allegretto - Trio - Adagio
110 bars
III. Rondo: Allegro di molto
432 bars

Coming Soon

String Quartet op 23 no 5 - G major

I. Allegro
230 bars
II. Poco adagio
92 bars
III. Menuetto: Allegretto & Trio
64&48 bars
IV. Rondo
307 bars

Coming Soon

String Quartet op 23 no 6 - F major

I. Grave. Adagio
35 bars
II. Allegro di molto
360 bars
III. Allegro con variazioni
212 bars

Coming Soon

 

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