Price: $450.00


Autographed and inscribed first edition score of Dessau’s masterful arrangement of Mozart’s String Quintet in F sharp major KV 614. P. Dessau For Frau Limberg with best wishes, Zenhausen I./76, January, 1976.


The score is a small folio format (standard 9” x 12” EP score) with the iconic Edition Peters frame in orange and their logo name plate at the top. The score follows with the autographed title page, on the verso a dedication to Otmar Suitner followed by the breakdown of movements and their corresponding first page, as well as the instrumentation and number of players per instrument in a box at the bottom. The following page is a forward paragraph by Dessau, the verso is the first sheet of music. The corresponding page is marked 3, the last page of music is 148.  The following page includes the license number 415-330/3/66/ Printer: VEB Messe - und Musikalienendruck Leipzig III/18/157. The following page blank, the verso of the leaf features a listing of other modern works for string orchestra, the inside cover is blank, the back cover features works by Baroque and pre-Baroque composers.  While the date of the work on the title page is 1965, the copyright is 1966, plate number EP 12337.

Dessau (1894-1979) was trained as a conductor and initially was an up and coming conductor in the opera houses of Germany. In his lifetime, he had two major musical allegiances, Bertolt Brecht whom he met in 1927 and collaborated on songs, mainly in the popular cabaret style of the day that was also utilized by Kurt Weill.  Secondly his alliance with the Austrian, interestingly Catholic conductor Otmar Suitner to whom this work is dedicated.  Suitner commissioned and led the premieres of three of his last five operas among other works. The most important recording of the work is with Suitmar.

In his preface in the score, Dessau writes:

 At no other time than this had I dared to work on this work by Mozart. But the time-bound temporary failure to maintain fewer chamber concerts than other eras, and the all too little knowledge of this work in particular, prompted me to venture an arrangement that could bring no harm to this unique music, but rather some benefit in that it was in this one form can be made available to many people. Like it was granted to the arranger not only to delight in the music but to learn through this daring activity and to use its further development, just as it may happen to the new listeners while listening to this unique work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which, composed in the year of his death (1791), according to Kochel with the number 614. 


Dessau’s adaptation is masterful.  He takes what can best be described with my apologies as a work of hausmusik for string quartet and broadens the work into a full modern symphony.  He opens by giving the violin theme of the first movement to the French horns in the style of the Mozart Horn Concerto.  The first movement Allegro molto sticks to the score despite the orchestration and will be familiar to anyone who has listened to a Mozart symphony.  The second movement, the Andante which is the most famous of the work, Dessau begins quietly by giving the theme to the woodwinds, however, by the end of the movement, he creates a big brassy modern orchestra sound with the woodwinds creating little vignettes in a Mahlerian instrumentation.  The third movement, Menuetto Allegretto also continues in a big brassy Mahlerian instrumentation which by the end, despite the note being Mozart’s sounds like a Mahler symphonic movement.  The fourth movement marked Allegro takes a different tact and Dessau tips his hat to Richard Strauss, opening with a timpani roll a la “Burleske” and continues in that vein throughout including a big percussion section with an anvil and triangle!  The orchestration is absolutely masterful taking the listener from a truly classical work and making it into a large late Romantic period work.


Based upon our research, the full partitur score was only published at this time once.  Our example being the only edition published at the time.  The score bears a crease at the top right as seen in the scan.  The spine at the very top and at the very bottom is missing emulsion, but well adhered otherwise.


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