String quartet

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Gegründet am: 16. Mär. 2007
For string quartet lovers.

The Juilliard String Quartet performing, 1963

Important string quartets
The form first came to be used after the middle of the 18th century. Joseph Haydn's first works for string quartet have five movements and resemble the divertimento (a title which they carried in some editions) or serenade, but the opus 9 quartets of 1769–70 are in the form which was to become standard both for Haydn and for other composers: four movements; a fast movement, a slow movement, a minuet and trio and a fast finale (see below). Because his example helped codify a form that originated in the Baroque suite, Haydn is often referred to as "the father of the string quartet." Haydn occasionally played his quartets on social occasions in an impromptu quartet ensemble of which Mozart was also a member.

Ever since Haydn's day the string quartet has been prestigious and considered a true test of the composer's art. This may be partly because the palette of sound is more restricted than with orchestral music, forcing the music to stand more on its own rather than relying on tonal color; or from the inherently contrapuntal tendency in music written for four equal instruments.

Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era, with both Mozart and Beethoven writing famous series of quartets to set alongside Haydn's. A slight slackening in the pace of quartet composition occurred in the 19th century; here, a curious phenomenon was seen in composers who wrote only one quartet, perhaps to show that they could fully command this hallowed genre. With the onset of the Modern era of classical music, the quartet returned to full popularity among composers, and played a key role in the development of Arnold Schoenberg, Bela Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich especially. Most recently, the quartets of Elliot Carter, which span the length of his long and illustrious career, have been highly admired.
The main form for the string quartet was set out by Haydn:

* 1st movement: Sonata Form, Allegro, in the tonic key;
* 2nd movement: Slow, in the subdominant key;
* 3rd movement: Minuet and Trio, in the tonic key;
* 4th movement: Sonata-Rondo form, in the tonic key.

In the 19th century and onwards, this structure, tonal and otherwise, was increasingly abandoned.
Some of the most popular or widely acclaimed works for string quartet written between the 18th century and the 1980s, include:

* Joseph Haydn's 68 string quartets, in particular the six quartets Op. 33 and the six late Erdody Quartets, Op. 76.
* Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 23 string quartets, in particular the six quartets dedicated to Haydn (K. 387, 421, 428, 458, 464, 465) are often considered to be among the best of the "classical" quartet form
* The sixteen quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven are highly acclaimed and considered the most perfect among string quartets. The String Quartets Nos. 1-6, Opus 18 are thought to demonstrate his total mastery of the classical string quartet as developed by Haydn and Mozart. The next three, the Razumovsky Quartets greatly expanded the form and incorporated a new degree of emotional sensitivity and drama. These were followed by Opus 74 "Harp" and Opus 95 "Serioso". Finally, the late quartets, which include his last five quartets and the Große Fuge, are the composer's last completed works. Though these works are widely considered to be among the greatest musical compositions ever written, their uncompromising intellectual complexity and their apparent rejection of the romantic pathos which pervades Beethoven's middle period both ensure that they remain considerably less popular than the Razumovsky quartets.
* Franz Schubert's string quartets No. 13 in A Minor "Rosamunde", No. 14 in D Minor "Death and the Maiden" and his final No. 15 in G Major.
* Felix Mendelssohn's six string quartets.
* Robert Schumann's three string quartets.
* Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11, known for its second movement "Andante cantabile".
* Bedřich Smetana's String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor "From my Life".
* Johannes Brahms's three string quartets.
* Antonín Dvořák's String Quartet No. 12 in F Major "American".
* Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No. 2 in D Major, known for its third movement "Notturno".
* Giuseppe Verdi's only string quartet
* Claude Debussy's only String Quartet in G Minor, op. 10.
* Hugo Wolf's Italian Serenade (he also arranged it for string orchestra)
* Arnold Schoenberg's four string quartets.
* Maurice Ravel's only String Quartet in F Major.
* Jean Sibelius's String Quartet in D minor "Voces intimae", Op.56.
* Wilhelm Stenhammar's six string quartets
* Leoš Janáček's String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata", inspired by Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata, which in turn was inspired by Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9, the "Kreutzer Sonata".
* Frank Bridge's String Quartet No. 3.
* Béla Bartók's six string quartets.
* Alban Berg's Lyric Suite, originally composed for string quartet.
* Anton Webern's early Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5 and later serial String Quartet, op. 28.
* Heitor Villa-Lobos's seventeen string quartets
* Bohuslav Martinů's eight surviving string quartets (Nos. 1-7 and the unnumbered "Three Horsemen") as well as his Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra.
* Sergei Prokofiev's two string quartets, the String Quartet No. 1 of which was commissioned by the Library of Congress.
* Dmitri Shostakovich's fifteen string quartets, in particular the String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110.
* Elliott Carter's five string quartets are among the most widely acclaimed series in recent years.
* Samuel Barber's String Quartet Op. 11, known for its second movement, which is commonly heard in its string orchestra arrangement, the Adagio for Strings.
* György Ligeti's String Quartet No. 2 from 1968.
* Witold Lutosławski's String Quartet from 1964
* Henri Dutilleux's String Quartet Ainsi la Nuit from 1976.
* Luigi Nono's String Quartet Fragmente-Stille, An Diotima from 1980
* Robert Simpson's 15 String Quartets, including No.9 '32 Variations and a Fugue on a Theme of Haydn', where each variation, like the original theme, is a palindrome.
* Philip Glass' five string quartets.
* Peter Maxwell Davies' ten Naxos Quartets.
* Iannis Xenakis' ST/4 from 1962

List of string quartets:
This is a list of recognized string quartets, in alphabetical order.
* Aeolian Quartet * Alban Berg Quartet * Alani Quartet * Alberni Quartet * Allegri Quartet * Alexander Quartet * Amadeus Quartet * Amati Quartet * American String Quartet * Angeles String Quartet * Arditti Quartet * Ariel String Quartet * Armadillo String Quartet * Australian String Quartet * Avalon Quartet * Aviv String Quartet * Balanescu Quartet * Belcea Quartet * Bergonzi Quartet * Borodin Quartet * Borromeo String Quartet * Brandis Quartet * Brentano Quartet * Brodsky Quartet * Budapest Quartet * Busch Quartet * Carmine Quartet * Cavani Quartet * Chiara Quartet * Ciurlionis String Quartet * Claring Chamber Players * Cleveland Quartet * Clinton String Quartet * Chilingirian Quartet * Colorado Quartet * Corigliano Quartet * Corvinus Quartet * Covington Quartet * Coull Quartet * Crystal Palace Quartet * Cypress Quartet * Dannreuther Quartet * Delme Quartet * Del Sol Quartet * Duke Quartet * Edinburgh Quartet * Endellion Quartet * Emerson String Quartet * Fern Hill Quartet * Festetics String Quartet * Fine Arts Quartet * The Four Strings Quartet * Fitzwilliam Quartet * Flonzaley Quartet * Flux Quartet * Four Strings Quartet * Gabrieli Quartet * Grainger Quartet (Australia) * Griller Quartet * Guarneri Quartet * Hagen Quartet * Hollywood String Quartet * Hugo Wolf Quartet * Hungarian Quartet * Janáček Quartet * Jerusalem Quartet * Juilliard String Quartet * Kodály Quartet * Kolisch Quartet * Kopelman Quartet * Kronos Quartet * Kuchl Quartet * Laclede Quartet * Lasalle Quartet * Leningrad Taneiev Quartet * Lindsay Quartet * Maggini Quartet * Mandelring Quartet * Manor House Music String Quartet * Marian Anderson String Quartet * Medici Quartet * Melos Quartet * Mendelssohn Quartet * Miró Quartet * New York String Quartet * New Zealand String Quartet * Orford Quartet * Orion String Quartet * Orlando Quartet * Oslo String Quartet * Pacifica Quartet * Pavao Quartet * Peterson Quartet * Prague Quartet * Puddles Quartet * Quartet-X * Quartet de Barcelona * Quartetto Italiano * Quatuor Arpeggione * Quatuor Diotima * Quatuor Mosaïques * Rosamunde Quartett * Sacconi Quartet * Salomon Quartet * Section Quartet * Serenoa String Quartet * Shanghai String Quartet * Shaw Strings * Silesian String Quartet * Smetana Quartet * Skampa Quartet * Smith Quartet * Solaris Quartet * St. Lawrence Quartet * The String Quartet Tribute * Takács Quartet * Talich Quartet * Tchaikovski Quartet * Tokyo String Quartet * Trabuco String Quartet * Turtle Island String Quartet * RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet * Vegh Quartet * Vermeer Quartet * Vertavo String Quartet * Vertigo String Quartet * Ysaÿe Quartet * Ying Quartet * Zagreb Quartet * Zorian Quartet

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  • SkylineFugitive

    Krzysztof Meyer's quartets are absolutely amazing.

    14. Okt. 2013 Antworten
  • AristideKlopbk

    For those who want to protest against the new conditions :!

    27. Jan. 2013 Antworten
  • aaktt

    Schnittke+Shostakovich+Schoenberg > infinity

    5. Okt. 2012 Antworten
  • nastasia12

    Hi All, Have a look on this great work from the New Zealander John Psathas!

    26. Mär. 2012 Antworten
  • ut0

    Isn't sobreviviente11's position kind of naive? Most people can't stare at sheet music and get anything from it, so the performers are at least as important to them. And there are plenty of cases in the recorded repertoire where there are multiple interpretations of the work, each different and valid in its own right. In such cases of unique and visionary performers, what can one call them but artists? "There I said it. :)" Well, it's silly. I said it.

    22. Sep. 2011 Antworten
  • _KevMusic_

    The String Quartet is the highest form of music developed thus far, in my opinion. Truly separates the Great from the pretenders.

    30. Apr. 2010 Antworten
  • sobreviviente11

    Damn with the performance - the composition is what matters. String Quartets are not artists - they're craftsmen. They can be brilliant or lousy doing their job, but they are just craftsmen, not artists. There I said it. :)

    15. Apr. 2010 Antworten
  • SirAlecHendrix

    may i suggest to focus the artist connections more on string quartets (i.e. chamber ensembles) than on composers (who rarely restricted themselves to quatuor compositions). they are easier to fit into the artist restrictions, and members can learn more about contemporary performers. on, many notable string quartets aren't streamable under a composer's profile but with the ensembles.

    16. Jan. 2010 Antworten
  • burning_cicada

    I am offering my sampler for free here. Please enjoy.

    23. Sep. 2009 Antworten
  • BurakCC

    Artist connections are limited with 200 artists, so I can't add any new artists.

    26. Jun. 2009 Antworten
  • Oessur

    Jón Leifs should definately be in the connected artists. He wrote three string quartets that have been recorded and published by BIS. link:

    24. Jun. 2009 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    The past months were highly tiring for me. That's why I couldn't collect the weekly data. I'll be back wıth monthly charts in a few days. Sorry for the delay.

    1. Jun. 2009 Antworten
  • BurakCC


    30. Mai. 2009 Antworten
  • arcorelli

    Madonna among the top 10 of the group?

    29. Mai. 2009 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    Röyksopp :D

    25. Apr. 2009 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    Antonin Dvorak should link to Antonín Dvořák ! Let's all click and flag the correct artist name (i.e. Antonín Dvořák).

    20. Feb. 2009 Antworten
  • DetroitSoulJazz

    For anyone interested in Korngold's music, particularly his works for violin, my brother has recorded an unique combination; i.e., the violin concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as the violin sonata with pianist Bengt Forsberg. You may buy this record at

    3. Jan. 2009 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    Oh, the latest "weekly top artists" chart is so interesting: Brahms and Bartok are the top two. This never occurred before. And we have Mahler in the top 10. It's nice to have some different, distinct weekly charts. Otherwise I get the feeling that people are stuck to a very narrow list of composers.

    15. Dez. 2008 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    Another surprising week without J.S.Bach in the Top 10 !

    26. Okt. 2008 Antworten
  • ankitruva

    Aphex Twin is in Top 10 this week, scrobbled by 5 members. Not surprising, indeed, nor a shame: A good deal of tracks in the "Drukqs" album (2 CD's) has a relevance to the group's musical taste - yeah, try'em people, you'll see what I mean. And long live RDJ!

    8. Sep. 2008 Antworten
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