Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 1. Assai sostenuto - Allegro


LaSalle Quartet Key A minor Movements/Sections 4 movements I. Assai sostenuto -- Allegro Year/Date of Composition 1823-1825 First Publication April 1827, Schott (Mainz) Dedication Prinz Galitzin Piece Style Classical Instrumentation 2 Violins, Viola, Cello Overview Beethoven composed these quartets in the sequence 12, 15, 13, 14, 16, with quartets 15 and 13 being written simultaneously[citation needed]. The first three of the quartets (numbers 12, 13 and 15) were commissioned in 1822 by Prince Nicholas Galitzin, who in a letter dated 9 November 1822 offered to pay Beethoven: "..what you think proper" for the three works. In his reply of 25 January 1823, Beethoven stated his price: 50 Ducats for each opus. The Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, by Ludwig van Beethoven, was written in 1825, given its public premiere on November 6 of that year by the Schuppanzigh Quartet and was dedicated to Count Nicolai Galitzin, as were Opp. 127 and 130. The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually the thirteenth quartet in order of composition. Movement I (Allegro) The slow introduction to the first movement, like that of the thirteenth quartet, is based on a motif that recurs throughout the late quartets and in the Grosse Fuge as well, the half step. The movement's unusual structure was described by Roger Sessions as more of a triple exposition than a normal sonata form in his classes[citation needed]. With three statements of exposition material (including recap), it mimics the repeat seen in classical sonata form expositions, but adds the extra interest of a presentation in a different key and different registral possibilities. This movement is in a very modified sonata form. Exposition #1 (mm. 1--74) 1st tonal area, (A minor; mm. 1--29) Transition 2nd tonal area, (F major; mm. 48--58) Closing (mm. 59--74) Note: There is no repeat. Pseudo Development (mm. 75--102) Understanding where we will eventually arrive (not at the recap), we can call this section transitional material, even though some motives are developed. Exposition #2 (mm. 103--192) This is almost exactly the same as the first exposition, except transposed into E minor, with C major as the second tonal area. Recapitulation (mm. 193--231) A shorter version of the original exposition, in the tonic key. Coda (mm. 232-end) A pedal point on E (V of A minor), using violin I's open E string, leads into the final cadence at measure 264.

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