Haydn, Pleyel, and the complete string quartets
Collection complette des quatuors / d'Haydn ; dédiée au Premier Consul Bonaparte
A Paris : Chez Pleyel, auteur et editeur de musique, 
Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 496
Link to downloadable images of this work:
violin I | violin II | viola | basso
Goethe described the classical string quartet form as “four rational people conversing,” a type of discourse embodied in the quartets of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Haydn, perhaps more than any of his contemporaries, shaped the string quartet into the form we know today, moving away from the typical divertimenti solo with accompaniment, to four equal voices working out thematic material in (often lively) conversation. The complete set of parts featured here is a variant of the first edition of Haydn’s complete string quartets, dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, and known as the “Bonaparte Edition,” published by Maison Pleyel in Paris in 1803.