Tag Archives: Haydn

Mozart’s “Haydn” String Quartets

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartet, strings, K. 387, G major. (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for first violin, beginning of first movement

The Jasper String Quartet will perform Mozart’s String Quartet K. 387 and Beethoven’s String Quartet op. 59, no. 3 on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 5:15 PM, at the Beinecke Library.  The  concert and reception will celebrate the opening of the exhibition “God Save the King: Music from the British Royal Court, 1770-1837.”

This early edition of Mozart’s string quartet K. 387, shown above, was published in London circa 1797, as part of a set of three  quartets: K. 387, 421, and 458 (“Hunt”).   Together with K. 428, 464, and 465 (“Dissonance”), these quartets are known as the “Haydn Quartets,” a set of six works composed by Mozart in Vienna during 1782-1785 and first published by Artaria in 1785, with a dedication to Joseph Haydn.  A generation older than Mozart, Haydn is considered the father of the string quartet as a modern form of composition, and his works in this genre exerted a strong influence on Mozart.  Haydn and Mozart were friends as well as colleagues, and are said to have performed quartets together in Mozart’s home in Vienna, with Haydn on first violin and Mozart on viola.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartets, strings, K. 387, 421, 458 (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for first violin, cover.

The Hanover Royal Music Archive’s edition of Mozart’s first three Haydn quartets was published by Lewis Lavenu (died 1818).  Lavenu founded his London music publishing business at no. 23 Duke Street by 1796; the quartets appear to have been published soon after, as the paper is watermarked 1797.  Manuscript annotations identify each part and indicate that these parts are the “1st”  of two books, each of which contained three of the six quartets.  Lavenu formed a partnership with Charles Mitchell in 1802 and continued his business under the name Lavenu & Mitchell.  Mozart’s Haydn quartets were evidently popular with English musicians, as they were reissued by Lavenu & Mitchell circa 1805.

A label affixed to each part indicates that the music was sold at the premises of William Milhouse:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartets, strings, K. 387, 421, 458. (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for first violin, label on cover.

The Milhouse family (sometimes spelled Millhouse) were prominent makers of woodwind instruments in Newark and London.  William Milhouse (1761-1834) had opened his London shop by 1787 and moved to 337 Oxford Street by end of 1797.  Milhouse continued as a highly successful woodwind maker through the 1830s, claiming association with the royal family as manufacturer to the Dukes of Kent and Cumberland.  While primarily an instrument maker, he also published and sold music, as is indicated by the label on the quartets.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartets, strings, K. 387, 421, 458. (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Original folder, from music of the Duke of Cumberland’s band.

Originally housed in this folder headed “H. R. H. E. D. C.” (His Royal Highness, Ernest Duke of Cumberland), the quartets are part of music performed by the private band of Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), Duke of Cumberland and later King of Hanover.  Though most music of the Duke’s band is for wind band or orchestra, some chamber music is present, indicating both a flexible range of musicians employed by the Duke, and his interest in hearing these particular works.

Below are example pages from second violin, viola, and cello parts for Mozart’s string quartet K. 387:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartet, strings, K. 387 (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for second violin, third movement and beginning of fourth movement

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartet, strings, K. 387 (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for viola, third movement and beginning of fourth movement

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Quartet, strings, K. 387 (London: L. Lavenu, circa 1797). Part for cello, end of first movement and beginning of second movement

Orchestra music of Haydn and Beethoven

Among the most significant works for orchestra in the Archive are printed editions of symphonies of Haydn and an early copyist’s manuscript of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 1.  

Haydn, Joseph, (1732-1809). Symphony, H. I, 99, E-flat major (London: for the proprietor, undated). Part for first violin

Haydn’s Symphony no. 99 is one of his “London Symphonies,” nos. 93-104, composed for impresario Johann Peter Salomon and performed during Haydn’s visits to England in 1791–1792 and 1794–1795.  The early edition shown above is annotated in manuscript with a numbering designation used by the printer.  By “full band” the printer indicated a complete set of parts for Haydn’s original instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings.  Also present in the Archive are Salomon’s arrangements of the twelve London Symphonies for two violins, flute, viola, cello, and piano.  Salomon’s signature appears at the bottom of the title page: 

Haydn, Joseph, (1732-1809). Symphony, H. I, 99, E-flat major. Arranged (London: proprietor, undated)

A set of well-used volumes contains early editions of orchestra parts for Haydn’s Symphonies no. 97 and 100, as well as works of other composers.  Volumes are present for second violin, viola, bass, basso obbligato, flute, oboes, and horns. Some parts have manuscript additions or performance annotations, such as this bassoon part for Haydn’s Symphony no. 100

Haydn, Joseph (1732-1809). Symphony, H. I, 100, G major. (André, 1796). Part for bassoon

Accompanying the volumes are additional parts in manuscript for serpent and trombone, neither present in Haydn’s original instrumentation.  The serpent, a bass wind instrument named for its curved shape, predated modern valved brass instruments and was commonly used in 18th century military bands.  It is not clear why these parts were added.  As these instruments are typically present in sets of parts in the Archive, they may indicate the preferred instrumentation of ensembles employed at the royal court. 

Haydn, Joseph (1732-1809). Symphony, H. I, 100, G major. Manuscript in an unidentified hand. Part for serpent

Haydn, Joseph (1732-1809). Symphony, H. I, 100, G major. Manuscript in an unidentified hand. Part for trombone

Images of the complete set of volumes and additional parts are available in Beinecke’s Digital Library.

Another intriguing set of orchestra parts is a manuscript copy of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 1, part of music for the Duke of Cumberland’s band.  Beethoven composed his first symphony during 1799-1800, and the work was  first performed and published, in parts, in 1800.  The Archive’s copy, written in an unidentified hand, is on paper watermarked 1804, likely indicating early performances of the work.  As with Haydn’s Symphony no. 97, instrumentation has been altered by additional parts for serpent and trombone. 

Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827). Symphony, no. 1, op. 21, C major. Copyist's manuscript. Part for first violin

Images of the complete set of parts are available in Beinecke’s Digital Library.