Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 16 (1796)

Beethoven attempted to establish his reputation as a composer after settling in Vienna in 1792 with a series of pieces for wind instruments, among which was the Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16 These works enabled him to demonstrate his skill in the traditional modes of chamber music without broaching the genre of the string quartet still dominated by Joseph Haydn. The Op. 16 quintet took its inspiration from Mozart’s exquisite Quintet for Piano and Winds (K. 452). Beethoven began his quintet in Berlin and completed the score later that year in Vienna. The piece was first given at a concert on April 6, 1797 at the Palace of Prince Joseph von Schwarzenberg.

Although the version of Op. 16 for piano and winds is one of Beethoven’s most sonorous creations, the original scoring limited the music’s suitability for a market providing income for composer and publisher. Thus, Beethoven arranged the work for the popular and salable piano quartet issued at the same time as the original wind version. The musical substance was unaltered and the piano part was unchanged.

The work opens with a slow, stately introduction recalling the old baroque form of the French overture. Its sweeping figurations and full scoring announces the piano’s primary role in the following music, appropriating the principal theme of the main body of the movement — “a sleek triple-meter melody made from a quick upward leap and a gently descending phrase.” The strings play this melodic material before bolder piano scales and arpeggios lead to the subsidiary subject, a lovely flowing strain in even note values. The development section with some piano figurations leads to the main theme.”

Program note by Richard E. Rodda

Back to Content Page 

貝多芬 (1770 – 1827)

鋼琴與弦樂四重奏 作品第16號

貝多芬的作品第16號原先是寫給管樂五重奏:古鋼琴、雙簧管、單簧管、圓號和低音管。這作品帶著海頓寫作室樂的傳統風格,也深受莫扎特管樂五重奏作品K452影響,於1797年4月6日首演。

後來貝多芬改編該作品為鋼琴與弦樂的四重奏,音樂內容完全一致,鋼琴部分亦維持不變。

此作品共有3個樂章,第一樂章極慢板—不太快的行板,華麗的序奏,分散和弦與鋼琴的協奏,主樂章是奏鳴曲式,主題與屬調主題具輕快的性格。以鋼琴技巧與管樂的音色呈示為主,發展部是鋼琴的快速音群。第二樂章是如歌的行板,含有兩個插入樂句的優美變奏回旋曲式,主題表達以鋼琴和單簧管為主,插入句由鋼琴作華麗的裝飾,兩個插入句分別是雙簧管和圓號為中心的G小調與降B小調的優美樂句。第三樂章是回旋曲,不太快的行板,回旋奏鳴曲式,王要主題與屬調主題都非常輕快。

回到主頁