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String Quartet (1905)

Score and Parts

By Anton Webern

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Strings Violin I, Violin II, Viola, cello
Score and Parts. Composed by Anton Webern (1883-1945). Edited by James Beale. FS-SWS. AW, Anton von Webern. Classical. Score and part(s). With Standard notation. Composed 1905. Duration 0:12:15. Carl Fischer Music #BE2. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.BE2).

Item Number: CF.BE2

ISBN 9780825860782. 9 x 12 inches. Key: A minor. De.

CARL FISCHER has published the following works by Webern, all of which are taken from his autograph manuscripts in the Moldenhauer Archives. None of these works were published during his lifetime, and some in fact were only discovered in October 1965, twenty years after his death. These works, therefore, represent a valuable addition to the comparatively small number of works available when he died.
The manuscript of Anton von Webernas String Quartet (1905) came to light only in 1961, when it was found among a number of compositions from Webernas earlier creative period, all of which had previously remained unknown. The year 1905 was a productive one for Webern. While receiving academic training at the University of Vienna, he had sought the private tutelage of Arnold SchAPnberg, the mentor and friend with whom he was soon to forge ahead on the still uncharted course towards a new idiom of musical expression. At the end of their first year of association, immediately after composing Langsamer Satz for string quartet* in June of 1905, Webern set to work on a more expansive and ambitious essay in the same genre. A formal plan, dated July 13, prefaces the earliest sketches to the String Quartet. It reveals that the composer derived his inspiration from a painting, the triptych WerdenaSeinaVergehn by Giovanni Segantini (1858a1899), an artist renowned for his portrayal of grandiose mountain scenery. Feeling a strong affinity with Segantinias world, Webern had written into his diary the preceding autumn, following a performance of Beethovenas aEroicaa Symphony by the Vienna Philharmonic under Felix Mottl: I long for an artist in music such as Segantini was in painting. His music would have to be a music that a man writes in solitude, away from all turmoil of the world, in contemplation of the glaciers, of eternal ice and snow, of the somber mountain giants. It would have to be like Segantinias pictures. The onslaught of the Alpine storm, the mighty force of the mountains, the radiance of the summer sun on flower-covered meadowsa all these would have to be in the music, born immediately out of the Alpine solitude. That man would then be the Beethoven of our day. An aEroicaa would inevitably appear again, one that is younger by 100 years. The String Quartet was written at the Preglhof, the Webern familyas country estate in Carinthia. On the finished score appears the date August 25, 1905. Segantinias triptych, the composeras original inspiration, remained the formal model; there are three clearly discernible sections within the one-movement structure. To express the depth of his involvement with the work, Webern gave it the literary motto appearing on the following page, a quotation from the German religious mystic Jacobus Boehme. The String Quartet (1905) had its world premiere on May 26, 1962, during the First International Webern Festival in Seattle, Washington, when it was played by the University of Washington String Quartet. The first performance in Europe, by the La Salle Quartet, took place on August 3, 1965, during the Second International Webern Festival at Salzburg/Mittersill.

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