Friedrich Kuhlau

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Quintet in A Major, Op.51 No.3

For Flute, Violin, 2 Violas & Cello or

Flute, 2 Violins, Viola & Cello or 2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello

In 1822 Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832) composed his Op.51 Quintets for Flute and Strings. They are a set of three and are among an extraordinary number of fine chamber works Kuhlau wrote included the flute. In fact, these compositions earned him the sobriquet of “Beethoven of the Flute” and many have assumed that he was a flute virtuoso, but he never played the instrument. Born in Germany, after being blinded in one eye in a freak street accident, he studied piano in Hamburg. In 1810, he fled to Copenhagen to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic Army, which overwhelmed the many small principalities and duchies of northern Germany, and in 1813 he became a Danish citizen. Outside of several lengthy trips which he took, he resided there until his death. During his lifetime, he was known primarily as a concert pianist and composer of Danish opera, but was responsible for introducing many of Beethoven’s works, which he greatly admired, to Copenhagen audiences. Considering that his house burned down destroying all of his unpublished manuscripts, he was a prolific composer leaving more than 200 published works in most genres.

Beethoven, whom Kuhlau knew personally, exerted the greatest influence upon his music but like Mozart, Schubert and Hummel, he had a gift for wonderful melodies which bubble forth from his music effortlessly. An exciting Allegro con fuoco opens proceedings. It is followed by a playful Scherzo with a fine contrasting trio. A lovely Adagio comes next and the work is concluded by a bumptious Vivace.

The original edition was for flute, violin, two violas and cello. Our edition is based on the original, however, we have added rehearsal numbers. It must be admitted that this unusual combination is not often encountered and therefore we have created a second violin part so that the work can be played by flute and string quartet. Additionally, the work can be played as a string quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello with a violin substituting for the flute.


(A) Flute, Violin, 2 Violas & Cello-Parts $29.95
(B) Flute, 2 Violins, Viola & Cello-Parts $29.95
(C) Six Parts so that either combination A or B can be played $36.95
(D) String Quintet 2 Violins, 2 Violas, & Cello-Parts $29.95
(E) Score $9.95



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