String Sextet No. 1 (Brahms)

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The String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18, was composed in 1860 by Johannes Brahms. It was published in 1862 by the firm of Fritz Simrock.

The sextet is scored for two violins, two violas, and two cellos.

The sextet has four movements:[1]

The outlines of the main themes of the first movement and finale are similar (the first four notes of the cello theme of the first movement are almost identical with those of notes two to five of the finale, and there are other similarities more easily heard).

Sextet chronology[edit]

There are earlier examples by Luigi Boccherini (two sets of six each). However, between the Boccherini and the Brahms, very few for stringed instruments without piano seem to have been written or published, whereas within the decades following Brahms' two examples, a number of composers, including Antonín Dvořák, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Joachim Raff, Max Reger, Arnold Schoenberg, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, all wrote string sextets.

Exceptions, composers whose sextets appeared between the Boccherini and the Brahms, include a sextuor a deux violins, deux violes, violoncelle & basse from the 1780s (still later than the 1776 or so of Boccherini's opus 23) by Ignaz Pleyel,[2] Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński's opus 39 in E (with double-bass, and published in 1848),[3][4][5] Louis Spohr's in C opus 140 of 1848, and the sextet in D minor (with double bass) by Aloys Schmitt of 1852, but they do not seem to have been many. (One other exception or almost-exception, published and possibly composed before Brahms', is the sextet of Ferdinand David - published in 1861 and possibly performed in 1860.[6])

Popular culture[edit]

This sextet was used as soundtrack by French director Louis Malle in the movie "The Lovers" ("Les Amants", 1958).
The sextet's second movement is featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sarek". The second movement is featured in "The Day of the Dead", an episode of Inspector Morse.

References[edit]

  1. ^ For instance, see pages 1-44 of the 1968-published Dover Publications reprint of the Vienna Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Edition: Complete chamber music for strings and clarinet quintet (originally edited by Hans Gál). ISBN 0-486-21914-3.
  2. ^ OCLC 78958908
  3. ^ "Announcement of Recording with Dobrzynski's String Sextet and Elsner's Septet". October 2002. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Hofmeisters Monatsberichte". February 1848. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  5. ^ "Edition Silvertrust Dobrzynski Page". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ See IMSLP, with recording and performance parts.

External links[edit]