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Variations on a Motive of Beethoven

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (arr. Gordon Ring)

General Info

Year: 1826 / 2019 / 2020
Duration: c. 9:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: String Quartet
Publisher: Gordon Ring Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $30.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 2

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Horn in F

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Horn in F
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium

Part 5

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba

Percussion (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The motive on which this work is based is found as the opening four melodic notes of sixth movement (of seven) in Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, op. 131.

This sixth movement, as numbered by Beethoven in the score, serves as a slow introduction to, and moves without pause, directly into the seventh movement Allegro which concludes the work.

Beethoven first discussed the composition of this work in December 1825, and the work was completed by July 1826. However, it did not appear in a published version until June 1827, three months after the composer’s death. The score is dedicated to the Baron Joseph von Stutterheim.

Unlike a typical theme and variations, Beethoven’s motive serves as a musical generating device in the composition of this work. Following a rescoring of Beethoven’s original sixth movement with metric alteration, the motive becomes a generator of four variations, actually four short pieces, unified by statements of the motive. These statements are inverted, elaborated, and used in several modes.

- Program Note from score


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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