Beethoven, Ludwig van. (1770–1827) [Mitropoulos, Dimitri. (1896–1960)]

Grand Quatuor en partition pour deux Violons, Alto, et Violoncelle composé et dédié à Son Excellence Monsieur le Baron de Stutterheim, Lieutenant Maréchat de Camp Impérial et Royal d'Autriche &c: par L. v. Beethoven, Oeuvre 131." – From the collection of Dimitri Mitropoulos

Mayence [Mainz]: Schott. [1827]. First Edition. Disbound upright quarto.  Lithograph.  [PN 2692].  Title (verso blank); 1–50 pp.  Light foxing throughout, wear (erasure?) to lower center of title page and first leaf, first two leaves creased to lower right corner, remnants of wrappers and string along left edge, else in fine condition. Kinsky, p.398; Hoboken 519; Dorfmuller, p.351. From the library of Dimitri Mitropoulos, though without any stamps or markings. Uncommon, only one copy having appeared at auction in over 60 years. 

Rare first edition of the score of the string quartet in c sharp minor, this copy is without the Beilage present in apparently the earliest issues of the first edition (see Kinsky, p.398). As Dorfmuller observes (p.351), the first edition of the score was published a little later than the first edition of the parts in the same year (1827). Beethoven oversaw the preparation of the publication, giving Schott instructions as late as February 1827, but he did not live to see the work in print.

Dimitri Mitropoulos was Greece’s most prolific conductor and New York Philharmonic Music Director from 1949-1958.  Widely regarded as one of the most significant conductors of the twentieth century, he is best remembered for his significant recorded legacy and for his commitment in bringing new compositions to the stage of major symphony orchestras.  Indeed, it is thanks to his efforts that many of our current symphonic standards made their way into the repertory.  He gave World and American premiers of seminal works such as Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 and Schoenberg’s Erwartung, as well as other major works by Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and many others.  His personal collection has been held in private hands since his death in 1960, when it passed to conductor James Dixon, his student and protégé.  Mitropoulos came to consider Dixon his son, introducing him to conductors and performing arts institutions around the world, jumpstarting his career.  When Mitropoulos died in 1960 he left all his belongings, including his scores, to Dixon.  The bulk of the musical library has been subsequently gifted to the University of Iowa’s music library, but a selection of rare items have been selected to be offered for sale exclusively by Schubertiade Music & Arts.   (20193)

Printed Music
Classical Music