String Quartet No. 1 (Schubert)

The String Quartet No. 1 (D 18) in mixed keys was composed by Franz Schubert in 1810 or 1811.


A partial autograph of the composer kept in the Vienna City Library has the date 1812 written on the cover.[1] The composition date is however more likely 1810, when the composer was 13 years old.[2] As such it may be Schubert's earliest extant completed multi-movement work for more than one player. The quartet was played in 1812 by the quartet of Schubert's family (his father Franz Theodor, his brothers Ignaz and Ferdinand, and Schubert himself playing viola). The first published edition of the quartet was in 1890, in the complete edition of Franz Schubert's Works issued by Breitkopf & Härtel.[3][4][2]


The work has the traditional four movements of a classical string quartet, with the Menuetto preceding the slow movement (Andante). The key signature of the work is undefined as it starts in one key and ends in another.

Key signature

D 18 is the only remaining of a set of three early string quartets "in changing, undefined" key signatures by Schubert. The Deutsch catalogue indicates its key as g/B.[2]


  1. Andante – Presto vivace (G minor)
  2. Menuetto (F major, with Trio in C major)
  3. Andante (B-flat major)
  4. Presto (B-flat major)


  1. Manuscript part scores at
  2. Deutsch 1978, pp. 17–18
  3. Gibbs (2000), p. 26
  4. Barbier (2008), p. 8.
  • Barbier, Pierre E. (210908). CD Booklet notes to Franz Schubert:The first string quartets. Zemlinsky Quartet. Praga Digitals PRD 350 030.
  • Otto Erich Deutsch (and others). Schubert Thematic Catalogue (several editions), No. 18.
  • Gibbs, Christopher H. (2000). The Life of Schubert. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521595124
  • Franz Schubert's Works, Series V: Streichquartette edited by Joseph Hellmesberger and Eusebius Mandyczewski. Breitkopf & Härtel, 1890.
  • New Schubert Edition, Series VI, Volume 3: Streichquartette I edited by Martin Chusid. Bärenreiter, 1979.
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