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Schumann’s close collaboration with the David quartet, together with the valuable advice of his friend Mendelssohn Bartholdy, led the composer to make extensive changes to the Streichquartette op. 41 before publication in December 1842. The present edition is hence to be thought of as a critical Urtext edition; it offers in fact to those interested, an invaluable glimpse into Schumann’s creative process and his striving for the final form of his string quartets. All the deletions, changes, and the original phrasing were carefully worked out in detail, restored, and editorially identified in the music text. A detailed preface giving the geneses of the works, as well as pages of the autograph score in facsimile, complement the edition. The parts are of course so configured in the reliable Breitkopf quality that the quartets can also be performed today in the traditional form.

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