SCHUBERT, Franz (1797-1828). WORKING MANUSCRIPT SIGNED AND DATED OF THE QUARTET IN B FLAT MAJOR (no. 8), Deutsch no.112, opus 168, black ink with numerous corrections and erasures, collation: 112 26, 36 pages, four systems on sixteen staves per page, paginated 1-36, oblong quarto, 235 x 320mm., not sewn or bound (conjugate leaves 1/1.12 now disjoint, 1/2.11 almost disjoint, some wear and fraying to the edges), the paper single stock, median sheets, watermarked with three crescents and merchant's name G: Kiesling. Vienna, 5th - 13th September 1814.\n\nThis important manuscript comprises the first movement of 15 pages, marked Allo ma non troppo, and dated den 5 September 1814 at the beginning and den 6 September at the end with the autograph note that the movement was written in 4½ hours; the second movement of 6 pages, marked Andante sostenuto and dated from 6th September to 10th September; 8 bars for all four instruments and 4 bars for first violin only of an abandoned Minuetto, undated; 3¼ pages of a Minuetto and Trio, marked Allo and dated at the end den 11 September 1814; and 10 pages of a final Presto, signed, dated and inscribed at the end Fine, den 13 September 1814, Franz Schubert.\n\nThis quartet was published posthumously in 1863 in Vienna in Hellmesberger'schen Quartett-Abende and the first public performance was given in Vienna at the Musikvereinsaal on 23 February 1862 by the Josef Hellmesberger quartet. The early quartets were chiefly written for Schubert's own family. He played the viola, his brothers Ignaz and Ferdinand the violins and his father the 'cello.\nWhile the compositions of 1813 are numerous and varied, the early months of 1814 saw little of great significance. From late October 1813 when he left the Kaiserlich-königliches Stadtkonvikt, Schubert attended a training school for elementary teachers and by autumn 1814 he was teaching at his father's school, although he was still receiving tuition from Salieri. His training and the breadth of his musical experience at the college began to bear fruit and his work matured rapidly in the autumn of 1814. Between May and July Schubert composed his first Mass (in F, D.105) which was performed at the Liechtental Church and again at the court church of St. Augustine during the Congress of Vienna. The mass was followed by the present quartet, written in only a little more than a week. It was also a time of awakening for Schubert, occasioned by his reading of Goethe's Faust. His setting of Gretchen am Spinnrade, perhaps his first masterpiece, was written just a month after the completion of the B flat quartet, itself a big advance on what had gone before. The lyrical impetus and technical mastery of this quartet were not to be surpassed until 1820 in the C minor Quartet. (Reed, op. cit.).