Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Lockwood, Lewis. "Beethoven as Colourist: Another Look at his String Quartet Arrangement of the Piano Sonata, Op. 14, No. 1." In Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: Studies in the Music of the Classical Period, ed. Sieghard Brandenburg, 175-80. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.

Beethoven did not simply transcribe his Piano Sonata Op. 14, No. 1 for strings, but rather recast the musical material to highlight the idiomatic differences between string and keyboard instruments. This is primarily indicated by changes in dynamics, which are more abundant than altered pitches or registers. For example, at the end of the development of the first movement, the piano sonata decrescendos and has a sudden forte at the recapitulation. At the same point in the quartet arrangement, the strings crescendo and then have a sudden piano at the recapitulation. Opposite dynamics such as these capitalize on the shading and sustaining capabilities of each instrument. Other alterations also point to a recasting, as opposed to simple transcribing, of material from one genre to another. Beethoven shifts the key from E major in the keyboard sonata to F major for the string quartet, exploiting the open C string sounds of the viola and cello. When changes in pitch content occur in the string quartet, the writing is idiomatic for strings. Finally, the key of F major evokes important late string quartets of Mozart and Haydn.

Works: Beethoven: Arrangement of Piano Sonata, Op. 14, No. 1 for String Quartet in F Major, Hess 34.

Sources: Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Laura B. Dallman

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