String quartet

string quartetsquartetstring ensemblestrings string quartetsquartetsString Quartet No. 1chamber music ensembleorchestral stringsOxford String Quartette
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group.wikipedia
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Musical ensemble

bandgroupensemble
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group.
In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families (such as piano, strings, and wind instruments) or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles (e.g., string quartet) or wind ensembles (e.g., wind quintet).

Cello

cellistvioloncellocellos
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group.
The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.

Viola

violistviolaselectric viola
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group.
The viola often plays the "inner voices" in string quartets and symphonic writing, and it is more likely than the first violin to play accompaniment parts.

Joseph Haydn

HaydnFranz Joseph HaydnJ. Haydn
The string quartet was developed into its current form by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, with his works in the 1750s establishing the genre.
His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet".

Ludwig van Beethoven

BeethovenBeethoven’sBeethoven, Ludwig van
Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert following Haydn in each writing a number of quartets.
His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies; 5 piano concertos; 1 violin concerto; 32 piano sonatas; 16 string quartets; a mass, the Missa solemnis; and an opera, Fidelio.

Classical period (music)

ClassicalClassical periodClassical era
Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert following Haydn in each writing a number of quartets.
The main kinds of instrumental music were the sonata, trio, string quartet, symphony (performed by an orchestra) and the solo concerto, which featured a virtuoso solo performer playing a solo work for violin, piano, flute, or another instrument, accompanied by an orchestra.

Dmitri Shostakovich

ShostakovichShostakovich, DmitriDimitri Shostakovich
Then it received a resurgence in the 20th Century with the Second Viennese School, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich and Elliott Carter producing highly regarded examples of the genre. Other Romantic-era composers often wrote only one quartet, perhaps to show that they could fully command this hallowed genre, although Antonín Dvořák wrote a series of 14. 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 (who was the first to add a soprano in his String Quartet No. 2), Béla Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich especially.
His chamber output includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios, and two pieces for string octet.

Takács Quartet

Takács String QuartetTakacs QuartetTakács
Some quartets play together for many years in ensembles which may be named after the first violinist (e.g. the Takács Quartet), a composer (e.g. the Borodin Quartet) or a location (e.g. the Budapest Quartet).
The Takács Quartet is a string quartet, founded in Hungary, and now based in Boulder, Colorado, United States.

Budapest String Quartet

BudapestBudapest QuartetMischa Schneider
Some quartets play together for many years in ensembles which may be named after the first violinist (e.g. the Takács Quartet), a composer (e.g. the Borodin Quartet) or a location (e.g. the Budapest Quartet).
The Budapest String Quartet was a string quartet in existence from 1917 to 1967.

List of string quartet ensembles

Apollon Musagète
Well-known string quartets can be found in the list of string quartet ensembles.
This is a list of recognized string quartets (i.e. groups of musical performers), current or past, in alphabetical order.

Borodin Quartet

Borodin
Some quartets play together for many years in ensembles which may be named after the first violinist (e.g. the Takács Quartet), a composer (e.g. the Borodin Quartet) or a location (e.g. the Budapest Quartet).
The Borodin Quartet is a string quartet that was founded in 1945 in the then Soviet Union.

Sonata form

sonata-allegro formsonata-allegrosonata
The standard structure for a string quartet is four movements, with the first movement in Sonata form, Allegro, in the tonic key; second movement is a slow movement, in a related key; third movement is a Minuet and Trio, in the tonic key; and the fourth movement is often in Rondo form or Sonata rondo form, in the tonic key.
After its establishment, the sonata form became the most common form in the first movement of works entitled "sonata", as well as other long works of classical music, including the symphony, concerto, string quartet, and so on.

Classical music

classicalWestern classical musicWestern classical
The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music, with most major composers, from the mid 18th century onwards, writing string quartets.
Whereas a classical era string quartet consists almost exclusively of two violins, a viola and a cello, a Baroque or Classical-era group accompanying a soloist or opera could include one of several different types of keyboard instruments (e.g., pipe organ, harpsichord, or clavichord), additional stringed chordal instruments (e.g., a lute) and an unspecified number of bass instruments performing the basso continuo, including bowed strings, woodwinds and brass instruments (e.g., a cello, contrabass, viol, bassoon, serpent, etc.).

String orchestra

stringsstringstring ensemble
David Wyn Jones cites the widespread practice of playing works written for string orchestra, such as divertimenti and serenades, with just four players, one to a part, there being no separate (fifth) contrabass part in string scoring before the 19th century.
Some of these works are problematic when it comes to deciding whether they are for orchestra or string quartet.

String Quartets, Op. 20 (Haydn)

20String Quartets, Op. 20Haydn's Op. 20 No. 1
The convincing realizations of the progressive aims of the Op.20 set of 1772, in particular, makes them the first major peak in the history of the string quartet.
The six string quartets opus 20 by Joseph Haydn are among the works that earned Haydn the sobriquet "the father of the string quartet".

Violin

violinsfiddleviolinist
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group.
When violinists are playing in a string quartet or a string orchestra, the strings typically "sweeten" their tuning to suit the key they are playing in. When playing with an instrument tuned to equal temperament, such as a piano, skilled violinists adjust their tuning to match the equal temperament of the piano to avoid discordant notes.

String Quartet No. 14 (Beethoven)

String Quartet No. 14C sharp minor Quartet, Op. 131String Quartet in C sharp Minor
Schubert's last musical wish was to hear Beethoven's Quartet in C minor, Op. 131, which he did on 14 November 1828, just five days before his death.
It is the last-composed of a trio of string quartets, written in the order Opp.

Ignaz Pleyel

PleyelIgnace PleyelIgnaz
That Haydn's string quartets were already "classics" that defined the genre by 1801 can be judged by Ignaz Pleyel's publication in Paris of a "complete" series that year, and the quartet's evolution as vehicle for public performance can be judged by Pleyel's ten-volume set of miniature scores intended for hearers rather than players, early exampes of ths genre of music publishing.
Among his early publications was a set of six string quartets, his Opus 1.

String Quartets (Mendelssohn)

Mendelssohn's string quartetsstring quartets
Mendelssohn's string quartets span the full range of his career, from 1828 to 1847, but otherwise a slight slackening in the pace of quartet composition occurred after the 30s of the 19th century; Schumann's three quartets were all written in 1842 and dedicated to Mendelssohn, whose quartets Schumann had been studying in preparation, along with those of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Felix Mendelssohn wrote six numbered string quartets which were published during his lifetime:

Late string quartets (Beethoven)

late string quartetslate quartetsThe Late Quartets
Substantial modifications to the typical structure were already achieved in Beethoven's later quartets, and despite some notable examples to the contrary, composers writing in the twentieth century increasingly abandoned this structure.
Ludwig van Beethoven's late string quartets are the following works:

Naxos Quartets

Naxos Quartet No. 7Naxos Quartet No.9Naxos'' String Quartet No. 4
During his tenure as Master of the Queen's Music, Peter Maxwell Davies produced a set of ten entitled the Naxos Quartets (to a commission from Naxos Records) from 2001–2007.
The Naxos Quartets are a series of ten string quartets by the English composer Peter Maxwell Davies.

Divertimento

divertimentiCassatioDivertimezzo
As Ludwig Finscher notes, they draw stylistically on the Austrian divertimento tradition.
Even more unusual is his six movement string trio, the Divertimento in E-flat, K. 563, which is a serious work belonging with his string quartets and quintets.

Antonín Dvořák

DvořákDvorakDvorák
Other Romantic-era composers often wrote only one quartet, perhaps to show that they could fully command this hallowed genre, although Antonín Dvořák wrote a series of 14. 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 (who was the first to add a soprano in his String Quartet No. 2), Béla Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich especially.
In 1862, Dvořák had begun composing his first string quartet.

String Quartets (Schoenberg)

Second String QuartetString Quartet No. 2String Quartet No. 1
Other Romantic-era composers often wrote only one quartet, perhaps to show that they could fully command this hallowed genre, although Antonín Dvořák wrote a series of 14. 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 (who was the first to add a soprano in his String Quartet No. 2), Béla Bartók, and Dmitri Shostakovich especially.
The Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg published four string quartets, distributed over his lifetime: String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7 (1905), String Quartet No. 2 in F minor, Op. 10 (1908), String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30 (1927), and the String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37 (1936).

Franz Schubert

SchubertSchubert’sSchubertian
Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert following Haydn in each writing a number of quartets.
It also appears in unusual choices of instrumentation, as in the Sonata in A minor for arpeggione and piano (D. 821), or the unconventional scoring of the Trout Quintet (D. 667), which is scored for piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass, whereas conventional piano quintets are scored for piano and string quartet.