“THE FANCY WISHES TO ASSERT ITS PRIVILEGES”: FIRST EDITION OF BEETHOVEN’S FUGUE IN D MAJOR
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van. Fuge (in D.) für 2 Violinen 2 Violen und Violoncell [Opus 137]. Wien: Tobias Haslinger, . Folio, unbound and uncut. Housed in custom cloth case. $3800.
First edition of the full score and parts of Beethoven’s Fugue in D Major for five stringed instruments.
"This piece was written especially for a manuscript collection of Beethoven's works projected by Haslinger… and was published by him in the fall of 1827 as Opus 137. Beethoven was particularly interested in fugues at the time. 'To make a fugue requires no particular skill,' he said later to Holz, 'in my study days I made dozens of them. But the fancy wishes also to assert its privileges, and today a new and really poetical element must be introduced into the old traditional form.' The sketches for the conclusion of the quintet fugue are mixed with notes from Bach and others showing how zealous were his studies in the form at that time" (Scherman & Biancolli, 970). Fugue in D Major is particularly noteworthy as the only quintet composed during Beethoven's late period. Its clear allusions to J.S. Bach and the time of its composition (during the composition of the "Hammerklavier" Sonata, Op. 106) make it a favorite of both scholars and performers. First composed in 1817, but not published until this edition. Kinsky, 417-418.
A fine uncut copy.