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Franz Schubert » String Quartet in D minor, 'Der Tod und das Mädchen' » David, Ferdinand - Bartholf Senff Verlag

On 26 October 1867 Ferdinand David wrote to the publisher Senff about his forthcoming new edition of Schubert's D minor String Quartet:

Die Correktur des Schubertschen d moll Quartetts ist fertig. Es ist ganz unglaublich wie schlecht die letzte Wiener Ausgabe ist, nicht allein dasalle fehler des alten mit aufgenommen sind so sind noch eine ziemliche Anzahl neuer hinzugekommen. Ich hoffe dass ihre Ausgabe allen Uebelständen abhelfen wird, muss mich aber vorher doch mit Ihnen besprechen, ob in Beziehung auf Partitur-Ausgabe u. Enge oder Weitläuftigkeit der Stimmen mancherlei fest zu stellen ist. Wenn es Ihnen möglich wäre mich in diesen Tagen (heut oder morgen) auf kurze Zeit zu besuchen, so kann alles bestimmt werden. Ich bin neuerlich Stuben – [illegible word ?A…ent], sonst käme ich zu Ihnen. Mit herzlichen Gruss, Ihr sehr ergebener Ferd David. L[ei]pz[i]g 26 Oct 1867 [original owned by Clive Brown]


The correction of Schubert’s D minor Quartet is ready. It is absolutely unbelievable how bad the last Viennese edition is, not only are all the mistakes in the old one included, but also a fair number of new ones have crept in. I hope your edition will rectify all shortcomings. But I must discuss with you whether there are some things to decide about the score and the compression or extent of the parts. If it were possible for you to visit me briefly in the next day or so (today or tomorrow), everything can be decided. I have recently been confined[?] to my room, otherwise I would have come to you. With hearty greetings, yours sincerely Ferd. David.

The work was performed 11 times between 1840 and 1866 in the chamber concerts of the Leipzig Gewandhaus. On 6 November 1868 it was performed again, presumably from David's newly issued edition, and annually from 1870 to 1873, when it was included in David's final Gewandhaus chamber concert on 16 March, just four months before his death. The Uppingham copy of the Senff edition, from David's Nachlass, contains his blue crayon annotations in the lower three parts, but with the possible exception of a few annotations in the final prestissimo of the last movement (including, in the anti-penultimate bar, putting the d''' up an octave), not in the 1st violin part. In view of his habitually careful annotation of his own performing parts, it seems clear that he himself must have played from a part that no longer exists, presumably prepared in connection with his earlier performances of the work or newly marked up for the publication. The annotations in the three lower parts concern ensemble issues, such as the deletion of the first movement repeat, a few corrections of misprinted notes, a few changes to bowing, and some major alterations to dynamics. In the viola part at the end of the fourth variation of the Andante con moto, David added some double-stopped notes to facilitate the cellist's page turn. The ends of that movement and of the Trio of the third movement have an added dynamic scheme in all three lower parts. [C. B.]

Composer Franz Schubert
Work String Quartet in D minor, 'Der Tod und das Mädchen'
Title Grosses Quartett (D-moll)
Publisher Bartholf Senff Verlag
City Leipzig
Date 1868 (April) [Source: Hofmeister - June 1868]
Publication Number
Instrumentation String Quartet – 2 Violins · 1 Viola · 1 Cello
Partly Recomposed No


Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Vl 1 584 Printed Printed
Vl 2 584 Printed Printed
Vla 584 Printed Printed
Vlc 584 Printed Printed