Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Yudkin, Jeremy. "Beethoven's Mozart Quartet." Journal of the American Musicological Society 45 (Spring 1992): 30-74.

Beethoven's String Quartet in A major Op. 18, No. 5 is clearly indebted to Mozart's String Quartet K. 464 in the same tonality, and Mozart's quartet was an homage to Haydn. The parallels between the two later works are examined using Harold Bloom's theory of the anxiety of influence. Beethoven's imitation can be explained as a desire to learn from Mozart, as motivated by feelings of rivalry, and also as an act of homage to him. The differences between some sections can be seen as an attempt to "misinterpret" the original in order to surpass it. In the String Quartet in A minor Op. 132, which is a much later re-use of Mozart's music, Beethoven achieves the effect of complete sublimation of the precursor, capturing its essence so completely that it seems that the latecomer is being imitated by his ancestor.

Works: Beethoven: String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5 (30-71); String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132 (71-72).

Sources: Mozart, String Quartet in A Major, K. 464.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Luiz Fernando Lopes

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