Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Rarest Acquisitions of 2005: First Editions of the Parts of the String Quartets, Opuses 18 and 59

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Rarest Acquisitions of 2005: First Editions of the Parts of the String Quartets, Opuses 18 and 59

Article excerpt

THE CENTER FOR BEETHOVEN STUDIES IS ESPECIALLY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that Ira and Irma Brilliant donated the first editions of the sets of parts for the six string quartets of Opus 18 as well as the first edition parts for the three Razumovsky Quartets, Opus 59, in June of this year. The addition of these treasures means that the Center now owns the first editions of the sets of parts and the first editions of the scores of all of the string quartets. (We may be the only institution that owns the first editions of all the parts and scores.) The sets of parts came from the rich personal collection of the esteemed antiquariat Albi Rosenthal, who was himself a string player. The first editions were offered by Dr. Ulrich Driiner of Stuttgart in collaboration with A. Rosen thai, Ltd., Oxford, now managed by Albi's daughter Julia.

Sets of parts for Beethoven's works are much rarer than the printed scores, which often appeared years or decades later. In the case of the Quartets, Opus 18, the first edition of the set of parts was issued by Mollo in Vienna in June (nos. 1-3) and October (nos. 4-6) 1801. The first score edition did not appear until after Beethoven's death; Jean André issued them in 1829 in a lithographed edition. …

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