String Sextet No. 1 (Brahms)
The String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18, was composed in 1860 by Johannes Brahms and premiered in Hanover by an ensemble led by Joseph Joachim. It was published in 1862 by the firm of Fritz Simrock.
- I. Allegro ma non troppo, in 3/4 time
- II. Andante, ma moderato, in D minor and 2/4 time (and in variation form)
- III. Scherzo: Allegro molto (3/4, in F major, with a central, Animato trio section)
- IV. Rondo: Poco Allegretto e grazioso, in 2/4
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).
In the same year of its composition, Brahms transcribed the second movement for solo piano, dedicating the arrangement to Clara Schumann.
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.
Those few examples of such sextets that 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, Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński's opus 39 in E♭ (with double-bass, and published in 1848), Louis Spohr's in C opus 140 of 1848, and the sextet in D minor (with double bass) by Aloys Schmitt of 1852 (one other possible exception is the sextet of Ferdinand David - published in 1861 and possibly performed in 1860.)
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 also featured in "The Day of the Dead", an episode of Inspector Morse, and in the 2001 French-Austrian film The Piano Teacher.
- L. Auer, My Long Life in Music, New York, Stokes, 1923
- 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.
- OCLC 78958908
- "Announcement of Recording with Dobrzynski's String Sextet and Elsner's Septet". October 2002. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "Hofmeisters Monatsberichte". February 1848. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "Edition Silvertrust Dobrzynski Page". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- See IMSLP, with recording and performance parts.
- Brahms String Sextet No. 1: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Performance of String Sextet No. 1 by the Musicians from Marlboro from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in MP3 format
- Detailed Listening Guide using the recording by the Amadeus Quartet with Aronowitz and Pleeth