Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Karl Amenda

Feb 14: the Amenda Quartet is born! I had been browsing through my Beethoven books to find any ideas for our group's name a la "Brentano" (some already in the hat: Sangha, Clover Street Quartet, Rockingham Quartet, FourSquare, Grateful Dead, all taken.) I came across the name Karl Amenda, and upon reading further, thought this great friend of Beethoven and dedicatee of Op. 18 No. 1, to be our perfect namesake!
Karl Friedrich Amenda (1771-1836) was an accomplished violinist and theologist. He lived in Vienna for just a little over a year beginning in 1798, during which time he and Beethoven struck up what Maynard Soloman describes as an "exaggeratedly romantic friendship."

More from Solomon's Beethoven:

As a talented young violinist, who was employed as a reader and music teacher by Princess Karoline Lobkowitz and Constanze Mozart respectively, he quickly made Beethoven's acquaintance and soon, in the words of contemporary document, "captured Beethoven's heart." They became such inseparable companions that when one was seen alone people would call out, "Where is the other one?" Beethoven gave Amenda a manuscript copy of the String Quartet in F, op. 18, no. 1, with a warm dedicatory message and, prior to Amenda's permanent return to his native Latvia in 1799 to become a pastor, he played the Adagio of the quartet for him. "It pictured for me the parting of two lovers," said Amenda. "'Good!'" said Beethoven, "'I thought of the scene in the burial vault of Romeo and Juliet.'" Beethoven wrote of Amenda to Ferdinand Ries in 1804, "Although for almost six years neither of us has had news of the other, yet I know that I hold the first place in his heart, just as he holds it in mine."
Friendship and Beethoven string quartets. This sums up our mission.

More information on Amenda found at:


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