), a chordal instrument (e.g., electric guitar, piano, Hammond organ, etc. Less often, string quartets are written for other combinations of the standard string ensemble. Romantic composers Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn each wrote three important compositions in this form, and Mozart, Dvořák, and Gabriel Fauré each wrote two. scored for wind, violin, viola and cello) or are groups of four wind instruments. [1] However, these composers showed no interest in exploring the development of the string quartet as a medium. [3] Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time exceptionally substitutes clarinet for viola. The string quartet enjoyed no recognized status as an ensemble in the way that two violins with basso continuo – the so-called 'trio sonata' – had for more than a hundred years. For a complete analysis of this quartet, see. These are written in a form that became established as standard both for Haydn and for other composers. 131's first movement, said that it "reveals the most melancholy sentiment expressed in music". This instrumentation of adding a voice is succeeded by Milhaud, Ginastera, Ferneyhough, Davies and many others. Vocal quartets also feature within larger classical compositions, such as opera, choral works, and symphonic compositions. 1 in E minor, "From my Life", String Quartet No. A very early example is a four-part sonata for string ensemble by Gregorio Allegri (1582–1652) that might be considered an important prototype. [citation needed]. [2] By the early 18th century, composers were often adding a third soloist; and moreover it became common to omit the keyboard part, letting the cello support the bass line alone. String quartet composition flourished in the Classical era: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven each wrote a number of them. 1 and Op. Some of the most notable works for string quartet include: Whereas individual string players often group together to make ad hoc string quartets, others continue to play together for many years in ensembles which may be named after the first violinist (e.g. This configuration is sometimes modified by using a keyboard instrument (e.g., organ, piano, synthesizer) or a soloing instrument (e.g., saxophone) in place of the second electric guitar. Romantic composers Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn each wrote three important compositions in this form, and Mozart, Dvořák, and Gabriel Fauré each wrote two. This would put the date earlier, around 1750; Finscher as well as Webster and Feder judge that Griesinger erred here. After the Second World War, some composers, such as Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen questioned the relevance of the string quartet and avoided writing them. Often a second alto may be substituted for the soprano part (AATB) or a bass saxophone may be substituted for the baritone. Haydn, then eighteen years old,[5] took up this proposal, and so originated his first quartet which, immediately it appeared, received such general approval that Haydn took courage to work further in this form. Another variation on the traditional string quartet is the electric string quartet with players performing on electric instruments.[10]. the Takács Quartet), a composer (e.g. In 20th century Western popular music, the term "vocal quartet" usually refers to ensembles of four singers of the same gender. Upon listening to an earlier performance of this quartet, Schubert had remarked, "After this, what is left for us to write?" Many other chamber groups can be seen as modifications of the string quartet: Further expansions have also been produced such as the String octet by Mendelssohn. [3] The Italian composer Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805), wrote 91 string quartets. ): The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. Fürnberg requested Haydn to compose something that could be performed by these four amateurs. Wagner, when reflecting on Op. This configuration is sometimes modified by using a second horn replacing the chordal instrument, such as a trumpet and saxophone with string bass and drum kit, or by using two chordal instruments (e.g., piano and electric guitar). Arthur Eaglefield Hull, "The earliest string quartet"'. These include quartets for one violin, two violas, and one cello, notably by Carl Stamitz (6 compositions) and others; and for one violin, one viola, and two cellos, by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and others. Haydn is responsible for the string quartet in its now accepted form. Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era. Another common standard classical quartet is the piano quartet, consisting of violin, viola, cello, and piano. [citation needed]. The opportunities for experiment which both these genres offered Haydn perhaps helped him in the pursuit of the more advanced quartet style found in the eighteen works published in the early 1770s as Opp.9, 17 and 20. Quartets written in the classical period usually have four movements with a large-scale structure similar to that of a symphony[citation needed]: 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. Many Romantic and early-twentieth-century composers composed string quartets, including Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Claude Debussy. The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music; most major composers from the mid 18th century onwards having written string quartets. A Baron Fürnberg had a place in Weinzierl, several stages from Vienna, and he invited from time to time his pastor, his manager, Haydn, and Albrechtsberger (a brother of the celebrated contrapuntist Albrechtsberger) in order to have a little music. Notably, Schoenberg included a soprano in the last two movements of his second string quartet, composed in 1908. The early history of the string quartet is in many ways the history of Haydn's journey with the genre. 1938. 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. ), a bass instrument (e.g., double bass, tuba or bass guitar) and a drum kit. the Budapest Quartet). Many Romantic and early-twentieth-century composers composed string quartets, including Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Claude Debussy. Wyn Jones, David: "The Origins of the Quartet", in Robin Stowell (ed. After Op.20 it becomes harder to point to similar major jumps in the string quartet's development in Haydn's hands, though not due to any lack of invention or application on the composer's part. The origins of the string quartet can be further traced back to the Baroque trio sonata, in which two solo instruments performed with a continuo section consisting of a bass instrument (such as the cello) and keyboard. In the modern era, the string quartet played a key role in the development of Arnold Schoenberg (who was the first to add a soprano in his String Quartet No. Established quartets may undergo changes in membership whilst retaining their original name. "[9] Schubert's last musical wish was to hear Beethoven's Quartet in C♯ minor, Op. Lindsay Kemp: Joseph Haydn: The String Quartets, Decca 200. 110 (1960), https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.553378, The FLUX String Quartet to perform six-hour Feldman piece on April 21, Introduction: HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET (1992/93), The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, Greg Sandow – Introducing String Quartets, A brief history of the development of the String Quartet up to Beethoven, String Quartet Sound-bites from lesser known composers, String quartet compositions and performers since about 1914 and the connections between them, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=String_quartet&oldid=985363859, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from January 2017, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from May 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2012, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from January 2017, Articles with incomplete citations from January 2017, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz instrument identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Brahms and Schubert wrote numerous pieces for four voices that were once popular in private salons, although they are seldom performed today. However, from the 1960s onwards, many composers have shown a renewed interest in the genre. The particular choice and number of instruments derives from the registers of the human voice: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Haydn's early biographer Georg August Griesinger tells the story thus: The following purely chance circumstance had led him to try his luck at the composition of quartets. This is particularly common for barbershop quartets and Gospel quartets. 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 examples of ths genre of music publishing. In the 21st century it remains an important and refined musical form. Although he did not invent the combination of two violins, viola and cello, previous occurrences in chamber music were more likely due to circumstance rather than conscious design. In Classical music, one of the most common combinations of four instruments in chamber music is the string quartet. 131, which he saw as his most perfect single work. Typically, a vocal quartet is composed of: The baroque quartet is a form of music composition similar to the trio sonata, but with four music parts performed by three solo melodic instruments and basso continuo. It is not clear whether any of these works ended up in the two sets published in the mid-1760s and known as Haydn's Opp.1 and 2 ('Op.0' is a quartet included in some early editions of Op.1, and only rediscovered in the 1930s), but it seems reasonable to assume that they were at least similar in character. The only known U.S. drag quartet is The Kinsey Sicks. Not that he composed the first quartet of all: before Haydn alighted on the genre there had been examples of divertimenti for two solo violins, viola and cello by Viennese composers such as Georg Christoph Wagenseil and Ignaz Holzbauer; and there had long been a tradition of performing orchestral works one instrument to a part. Since Haydn the string quartet has been considered a prestigious form: writing for four instruments with broadly similar characteristics both constrains and tests a composer's art. 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. 2; one quartet went unpublished, and some of the early "quartets" are actually symphonies missing their wind parts. A standard quartet formation in pop and rock music is an ensemble consisting of two electric guitars, a bass guitar, and a drum kit. Clearly composed as sets, these quartets feature a four-movement layout having broadly conceived, moderately paced first movements and, in increasing measure, a democratic and conversational interplay of parts, close-knit thematic development, and skilful though often self-effacing use of counterpoint.


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