Introduction in English, German and French
The quartet in A minor is one of the chamber music works with which Schubert wanted to “pave the way to the great symphony” in spring 1824. At the same time he was paving his way to a wider audience, as the “Rosamunde” quartet was the first and only string quartet that was not only publicly performed in Schubert's lifetime but also published in parts. It is fortunate for us that this was the case because the autograph of this much-loved quartet is missing today and the only source for the work is the first edition. And this is precisely where the challenge lies, as the parts exhibit some inaccuracies regarding the articulation and dynamics. They have had to be carefully resolved, something which our new Urtext edition has done in an exemplary fashion. Its name can be traced back to Schubert's incidental music to the play Rosamunde, which can be heard at the beginning of the Andante. Quite a few people might, however, be reminded of the Impromptu in B flat major op. post. 142 no. 3, in which Schubert later once again took up the beautiful melody.