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Ludwig van Beethoven, Quartett für zwei Violinen, Viola und Violoncello (F-Dur) op. 18,1, frühe Fassung, Stimmen, Überprüfte Abschrift

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, BH 84

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Music as a souvenir

"Dear Amenda! Take this quartet as a small reminder of our friendship, and whenever you play it, recall the days we spent together and also the deep affection held for you then and always by your true and warm friend Ludwig van Beethoven. Vienna 1799. On 25ten June." Beethoven's heartfelt dedication written across the title page of the first violin part was for his very close friend Carl Amenda (1771-1836). Born in Latvia (Ducal Courland), Amenda was a theologian and violinist. He came to Vienna in the of spring 1798 and possibly got to know Beethoven at the Lobkowitz house where Amenda was employed. When Amenda decided to return home to Courland in the summer of 1799, Beethoven presented him with this copy of the parts from the first String Quartet from op. 18. Two years later in a letter to his friend on 1 July 1801, Beethoven asked him not to show the quartet to anyone as he had completely revised it: "Be sure not to hand on to anyone your quartet, in which I have made some drastic alterations. For only now have I learnt how to write quartets; and this you will notice, I fancy, when you receive them." (from the translation by Emily Anderson, 1961). Amenda acquiesced. (J.R.)

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