Струнный квинтет C-dur Op. 29

Посвящен графу Морицу фон Фрис (Moritz von Fries), 1800-01

The String Quintet, Op. 29 in C major composed by Ludwig van Beethoven was first published in 1801. This work is a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet and an extra viola (two violins, two violas, and cello). As the String Quintet, Op. 4 is an extensively reworked arrangement of the earlier Octet for Winds, Op. 103, the Op. 104 quintet is an arrangement of an earlier piano trio, and the later fugue is a fragmentary work, String Quintet, Op. 29 is Beethoven's only full-scale, original composition in the string quintet genre.

1. Allegro
2. Adagio molto espressivo
3. Scherzo. Allegro
4. Presto


Beethoven dedicated his Quintet to the count Moritz von Fries (1777-1826). Fries, a wealthy banker, commissioned the Quintet, Op. 29, from Beethoven and may have commissioned the Violin Sonatas, Opp. 23 and 24. He also received the dedication of the Seventh Symphony.

The publication history of the Quintet, Op. 29, is worth covering in some detail. After having completed the piece late in 1801, Beethoven sold a copy to Count Fries for private use and sold the publication rights to Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, sending them a different copy. On November 9, 1802 Beethoven learned that Fries had given his copy to Artaria for publication. The composer forced Artaria to withhold distribution of its edition until two weeks after the release of the Breitkopf & Härtel pressing in Vienna. Beethoven even tried to slow down the process at Artaria by correcting the proofs so heavily that they were useless. On January 22, 1803 Beethoven had a letter published in the Wiener Zeitung describing Artaria's edition as "very faulty, incorrect, and utterly useless to players." The folks at Artaria were not amused and sued Beethoven over the matter, demanding a full retraction, which Beethoven never published.

In 1911, an unknown person (probably Paul Bekker) used the theme from the Andante con moto e scherzo episode of the finale as part of a fake letter from Beethoven to the "Immortal Beloved." Numerous readers fell for it.

Beethoven's predilection for experimentation, especially with tonal materials, comes to the fore in the Quintet, Op. 29. For example, in the first movement we find a striking move away from convention with a modulation from the C major of the first theme to A major for the second. In C major, the harmony built on the note A natural (six steps above the tonic) is typically minor. By making the changes necessary to create A major, however, Beethoven introduces the kind of tension we would feel if he had modulated to the dominant. Similar harmonic relationships occur in the Triple concerto, Op. 56, and the Piano Trio, Op. 97.

The elegant Adagio is a sonata-form construction without a development section in F major and triple meter.

Based outwardly on the Classical-era minuet and trio, the Scherzo departs from its models in the way its material is manipulated. After the Scherzo opens with an eight-measure theme, the secondary tune begins with a figure from the first theme as accompaniment. Instead of a return to the first theme to round out the section, we hear an extended variation on this same figure. The Trio follows a similar procedure.

The finale, marked Presto, is remarkable. In 6/8 and C major, the rapid movement opens immediately with a main theme that consists of a bundle of six sixteenth notes followed by a quarter note. A repetition of the first theme initiates a modulation to the dominant, suggesting C minor along the way. The secondary theme is far from melodious, chopped up between the first violin, viola, and cello. In the development section, Beethoven concentrates on the primary figure from the first theme before coming to a stop on E major. Out of nowhere appears an Andante section in A major and 3/4 meter with an entirely new, dotted-rhythm theme in the first violin, the momentary key of A major providing a harmonic link with the first movement. Notably, Beethoven felt it necessary to resolve the A major material to C major in a coda, suggesting that he considered the Andante passage to be new material, not developed from exposition passages.

(источник: All Music Guide)