Секстет для валторн и струнного квартета, Opus 81b

Время создания: 1794-95 г.

1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio
3. Rondo: Allegro

This composition is something of a chamber concerto for two horns with accompanying strings; the string quartet rarely comes forward with interesting material, except to give the horn players an occasional rest during transitions. Those horn parts, on the other hand, are quite taxing, full of hunting calls and fanfares. The first movement, Allegro con brio, is a sonata form built on conventional eighteenth-century-style themes. What's interesting here is the development, which allows the horns several lyrical passages as relief from their more intricate, percolating and burbling material. In the Adagio, a pastoral image, possibly that of a tranquil forest scene is described by a warm, extended theme uttered by the horns and repeated by the strings. This theme forms the movement's outer sections; in the middle is a sweet, slow duet for the horns with minimal accompaniment. The third and final movement is a rondo (\Allegro) abounding in hunting calls and close harmony; the movement calls to mind the cheerful rondo-finales of Mozart's horn concertos, although Beethoven's writing tends to be less exuberant than Mozart's.

(All Music Guide)