Jump to content
caters

K 545 arranged for string quartet

Recommended Posts

I have arranged Piano Sonata K 545 for a string quartet. It only took me 2 hours to arrange the entire first movement. The last time I have made an arrangement this quick was when I arranged The Four Seasons for a flute and piano duet. All my other arrangements have taken days to months to complete.

I only have the first movement of K 545 finished so far but if it took 2 hours to arrange the first movement(which is by far the most complex movement of the sonata), then it shouldn't take all that much longer to arrange the second and third movements.

I would like some feedback on my arrangement for string quartet. Here is the link:

Piano Sonata no. 16 in C major K 545 for String Quartet

So what do you think of my arrangement of K 545 for a string quartet?

Now you may be asking:

Quote

Why are you asking for feedback on an arrangement of a well known Mozart sonata?


And my answer to that would be that, while still being honest to Mozart's original melody and bass line, I also am adding my own harmonies to it because I can do that as an arranger. I have made sure that my own harmonies are consonant with what Mozart wrote. Also I looked on IMSLP to see if this sonata had already been arranged for string quartet and I did not see any string quartet arrangements, which I thought was kind of weird since I see string quartet arrangements of Mozart all the time. Also, I only recently found an arrangement on youtube and it is only of the first movement.

That kind of makes sense since out of all the movements, the first movement is very well known whereas the other 2 movements are not so well known. Also the arrangement I found uses a lot of pizzicato and I was told that arco is more appropriate for a Mozart arrangement. I was also told that in Mozart's era, the staccatos would be left unmarked and the string players would understand to use light, bouncy bowing, what modern composers would mark as staccato. I don't know if Mozart ever used pizzicato. If he did, it was certainly rare for him to do so.

I figured that just via context alone, any good string quartet will know to play some of the passages staccato but I marked all the staccatos, just to be on the safe side. I am currently working on arranging the second movement. And yes, I know you are going to complain that there are no slurs here. I haven't figured out where to put the slurs yet, I'm still looking to see which slurs would best fit the melodic shape. Once I know that, I will put in the slurs.

Other than the lack of slurs, do you see anything else that could be improved about my string quartet arrangement?

Here is the arrangement I found in case you want to listen to it:

K 545(first movement) arranged for string quartet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a well known piece, and one that other people might want to see an arrangement of. 

I have a few little comments:

1. At the start, the thirds in the violins are fine until you get to about bar 9-10. I think they don't fit with the harmony as nicely (remember that strings sustain their sound, where piano decays.)

2. Some of the new harmonies don't quite fit - there are some interesting bass lines which don't really work. You could try making a theme and variations and put these in one of the variations. Unfortunately, they sound too removed form Mozart's style.

 

I think you've done well. Just a little more clarity in the harmonies and this will be very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I should probably spread the Alberti bass out into the bass note played by the cello in its original register(so middle C instead of C an octave lower) and the sixteenth note alternations played by the viola in the first 4 bars. That just leaves the second violin, which I guess I could have in parallel 6ths or parallel 4ths with the first violin since parallel thirds would make it sound polytonal, specifically with C major against A minor, and while Mozart did famously end one of his divertimenti with polytonality, he never used polytonality in his piano sonatas or really most of his works. Parallel 4ths I think would more easily lead to the parallel thirds in the scalar transition.

And I should more closely analyze the harmony instead of just thinking "What notes are consonant with it", that I know from a person who gave me feedback about the staccato chords and how I had a lot of them in second inversion and that made them not fit with the harmony because there was no cadence there where you would typically find a second inversion chord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, caters said:

So, I should probably spread the Alberti bass out into the bass note played by the cello in its original register(so middle C instead of C an octave lower) and the sixteenth note alternations played by the viola in the first 4 bars. That just leaves the second violin, which I guess I could have in parallel 6ths or parallel 4ths with the first violin since parallel thirds would make it sound polytonal, specifically with C major against A minor, and while Mozart did famously end one of his divertimenti with polytonality, he never used polytonality in his piano sonatas or really most of his works. Parallel 4ths I think would more easily lead to the parallel thirds in the scalar transition.

And I should more closely analyze the harmony instead of just thinking "What notes are consonant with it", that I know from a person who gave me feedback about the staccato chords and how I had a lot of them in second inversion and that made them not fit with the harmony because there was no cadence there where you would typically find a second inversion chord.

 

No, focus on more on what you hear than the theory. You're stuck too much in the rules and that's limiting your potential. Listen to the piece and then follow your intuition of what sounds good to you. Don't let theory define all of your actions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...