Dedicated to Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz, String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 was finished on June 25, 1799 with some revisions thereafter. Beethoven initially felt it to be a work in progress and commented that he had not yet “learned to write quartets properly”. Despite his perfectionism, only minor changes were made after the premier performance.
The opening of this Allegro finale pays homage to Mozart with its wild swirls in the solo voices followed by a response of the whole ensemble. As the movement develops, the ensemble plays what we later discover as Beethoven’s true voice. Like the first movement, the last movement affords the ensemble dramatic dynamic changes and driving motor devices. The virtuosity required of the players makes this the most challenging of any of the movements in the quartet.
– Joshua Mietz (Arranger)
Solo Parts Included: Clarinets 1-3, Bass Clarinet