Op 29 String Quintets

String Quintets op 29

Title page of Wranitzky's String Quintets Op. 29 as published by André in 1794.
Title page of Wranitzky's Quintets op 29
The String Quintets of Paul Wranitzky are some of his most rewarding compositions. Wranitzky wrote twelve works specifically for the genre, and another thirteen exist as arrangements of other compositions. This set of three quintets was published by André of Offenbach in 1794 as op. 29.  

No. 1 in F major

The first quintet of the set stands out from the rest by being a true concertante work with ample virtuosic display for all players involved.

A simple and memorable melody opens the monothematic first movement. With each repetition the theme is embellished, culminating in a virtuosic display of variation, and eliminating the initial simplicity of the material.

The second movement is a set of variations on a serious, dirge-like chorale in the relative minor. Wranitzky varies the material in numerous ways, including a transformation into a menuet.

Bursting with energy throughout, the finale suggest that Wranitzky either knew great players who could perform the difficult passages he writes, or that he simply demanded much from string musicians. Within the paces of the Rondo form Wranitzky harkens back to elements from the previous movements, such as the juxtaposition between eighth notes or sixteenth notes and triplets seen in the opening movement.

No. 2 in C major

The opening movement displays a conversation among the instruments as the primary theme is treated imitatively and in a call and response fashion. The primary theme is fragmented and tossed around the ensemble throughout the development, and goes through several interesting modulations.

Dissonances and their resolutions is the focus of the second movement. The conversation among the players continues as the development again fragments the opening cantabile melody.

The tempo of the finale is unrelenting and features some heavily virtuosic passages, particularly the first violin. The tonal plan of this sonata form movement is more refined than in the preceeding movements, but Wranitzky includes of couple a dramatic modulations. Towards the end of the movement there are a couple of unison statements signalling the end of the conversation.

No. 3 in A major

A brief introduction prepares the announcement of the fanfare-like main theme. An uncharacteristically extensive transition section follows and features virtuoso writing for the first violins. The development is comparatively brief, but features a surprising outburst by the ensemble in chorale-like fashion. The lively finale conjures up pictures of peasants or farmers dancing in the countryside. The first violin remains the most active of the group, but not nearly as much as in the previous movements.

by John Stine & Daniel Bernhardsson

String Quintet op 29 no 1 - F major

I. Allegro Listen to midi file of Movement
229 bars
II. Adagio non troppo - Allegro - Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
75 bars
III. Finale: Allegro assai Listen to midi file of Movement
296 bars

Download: Full Score Parts
Edition by Daniel Bernhardsson


String Quintet op 29 no 2 - C major

I. Allegro moderato Listen to midi file of Movement
227 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
67 bars
III. Finale: Allegro di molto Listen to midi file of Movement
415 bars

- Score and parts available upon request -

String Quartet op 29 no 3 - A major

I. Allegro ma non troppo Listen to midi file of Movement
237 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
45 bars
III. Rondo: Allegretto Listen to midi file of Movement
209 bars

- Score and parts available upon request -


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