undefinedString Quartet in D Major  Emilie Mayer (1812 - 1883).

According to Wikipedia, the German composer Emilie Mayer (1812 - 1883) composed seven string quartets. A researcher involved with OpenScore String Quartets (OSQ) was recently investigating works by women composers, and discovered there were, in fact, eight, but the score for the D major quartet is apparently lost. However, Mayer herself rearranged this quartet for piano duet, and her piano 4-hands original manuscript is available as IMSLP scan #748464. 

It was fairly obvious that the piano version was almost certainly the four quartet parts transferred directly to the four hands of the duet, with little alteration. At OSQ we decided to reconstruct the string quartet from the composer’s piano score. It was carefully transcribed into MuseScore, with editorial help from musicologist Dr Bruno Bower. There were a number of challenges along the way, as with any manuscript scan, made even more difficult by the fact that the four parts were on two separate pages - sometimes with unequal numbers of bars! Some detective work was needed at times to work out how the original quartet score was constructed.

However, when it was finally transcribed and played on MuseScore, the music produced made it all worthwhile. It is a lovely work, and now that it has been ‘resurrected’, it is available for any quartet to play. Players can make their own decisions regarding interpretation because (at least at present) there are no recordings to imitate! A blank page, waiting to be filled with music!

The full quartet score and parts can be found on the OSQ website.

As with all OpenScore works, this is released under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which means it is completely free from any copyright restrictions - although we would appreciate a mention, where appropriate, in acknowledgment of all the hours put in, almost exclusively by volunteers.

Our thanks go to Maureen Redbond (OpenScore String Quartets manager) for providing us with this information and writing this news article 29/5/22.