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String quartet

From Academic Kids

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Stringquartetjuilliard1963.jpg
The resident string quartet of the Library of Congress in 1963

A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string instruments—usually two violins, a viola and cello—or a piece written to be performed by such a group.

Contents

Background

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ViolinImageWithFocusOnBridge.jpg
Close-up photo of a violin. A string quartet usually has two violinists.

Although any combination of four string instruments can literally be called a "string quartet", in practice the term refers to a group consisting of two violins (the "first" and "second" violin), one viola and one cello. Should a composer create music for four other string instruments — for instance, three violins and bass, or violin, viola, cello and guitar — the instrumentation is indicated specifically. The standard string quartet is widely seen as one of the most important forms in chamber music, with most major composers, from the late 18th century onwards, writing string quartets.

A piece of music for four players of stringed instruments may be in any form, but if it is simply a String Quartet (with or without a subtitle) it is usually in four movements, with a large-scale structure similar to that of a symphony. The outer movements are typically fast, the inner movements in classical quartet form are a slow movement and a dance movement of some sort (e.g., minuet, scherzo, furiant), in either order.

Many other chamber groups can be seen as modifications of the string quartet, such as the piano quintet, which is a string quartet with an added piano; the string quintet, which is a string quartet with an extra viola or cello; the string trio, which is a string quartet with only one violin; and the piano quartet, a string quartet with one of the violins replaced by a piano.

History

Violin and viola
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Violin and viola

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. 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, considered a true test of the classical composer's art. This may result from the fact that 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 slackening (but only slight) in the pace of quartet composition occurred in the 19th century; here, a curious phenomenon was seen in the 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, as the extensive listings below document.

List of string quartet composers

Born before 1800

  • Giovanni Battista Sammartini (ca. 1700–1775): wrote several quartets though as with many early works for the medium some of these could be played equally by a small string orchestra.
  • Joseph Haydn (1732–1809): wrote sixty-eight string quartets (some of which he called Divertimenti), the last incomplete, plus Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze (The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross), a sequence of eight slow movements plus a brief, rapid, finale (originally written for orchestra, but probably better known in its version for string quartet)
  • François Joseph Gossec (1734–1829): twelve string quartets: Op.14 (1770) and Op.15 (1772) [1] (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//ALPHA025.htm)
  • Roman Hofstetter (1742–1815): an Austrian monk and composer, now supposed to have composed the six string quartets known as Haydn's opus 3, including the well-known 'Serenade Quartet'.
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805): A prolific composer in most chamber music genres, Boccherini wrote ninety-one (!) string quartets — but see his string quintets!
  • Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754–1812): fifty string quartets (plus seven for vn, 2va, vc) (source: Grove online)
  • Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755–1824): seventeen string quartets
  • Franz Grill (1756?–1792): nine string quartets
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791): wrote twenty-three string quartets, including the six so-called Haydn Quartets (1782–85), generally reckoned to be his best
  • Alessandro Rolla (1757–1841): ten string quartets: 3 as Op.2, 3 as Op.5 and four others (source: Grove)
  • Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842): wrote six string quartets (1814–1837)
  • Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763–1850): (aka Vojtěch MatyᚠJírovec) friend of Mozart, wrote at least forty-two string quartets (Grove) possibly more than fifty (Hyperion CD notes)
  • Andreas Romberg (1767–1821): wrote six string quartets
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827): wrote sixteen quartets widely regarded as among the finest quartets by any composer
  • Anton Reicha (1770–1836): twenty-three string quartets, largely unknown, unperformed and unrecorded in the past century but important to the history of the string quartet 1 (http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/articles/reicha/quartets/index.html)
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778–1837): wrote three string quartets, Op.30, No 1 in C major; Op.30 No 2 in G major and Op.30 No 3 in E flat major (all ca.1808)
  • Georges Onslow (1784–1853): thirty-six quartets written between 1810 and 1845
  • Louis Spohr (1784–1859): known as Ludwig in his native Germany, Spohr wrote thirty-six string quartets and four double quartets (for two string quartets)
  • Franz Berwald (1796–1868): Swedish composer, wrote three string quartets, No 1 in G minor (1818), No 2 in A minor (1849), and No 3 in E flat major (1849)
  • Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848): Much better known for his operas, Donizetti also wrote eighteen string quartets, the first sixteen between 1817 and 1821 (mostly 'scholastic works', though the fifth is his most performed), the seventeenth in 1825 and the last in 1836.
  • Franz Schubert (1797–1828): traditionally reckoned to have written fifteen string quartets. The Death and the Maiden and Rosamunde quartets are particularly well known

Born 1801–1850

  • Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857): After attempting to compose a quartet in 1824 (a work that remained incomplete), Glinka wrote his only finished string quartet in 1830. While this piece is now seldom performed, it and its incomplete predecessor are notable as among the first attempts by a native Russian composer to work in this genre.
    • String Quartet in F major (1830)
  • Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806–1826): Early 19th century Spanish composer. Wrote three brilliant quartets (ca.1824) before his abrupt death at age 19: No 1 in D minor; No 2 in A major; No 3 in E flat major
  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847): wrote six numbered string quartets: Op. 12 (1829), Op. 13 (1827), Op. 44 (three quartets, 1838), and Op. 80 (1847); an early unnumbered string quartet in E-flat major (1823); Four Pieces ("Andante", "Scherzo", "Capriccio", "Fugue") for string quartet, Op. 81 (1847); a set of 15 fugues for string quartet, written when Mendelssohn was twelve (!); and another fugue (in E-flat major) for string quartet, written at age eighteen. Mendelssohn's early quartet music shows a remarkable mastery of (and dependence upon) the formal procedures of Beethoven's late quartets, but with a highly original transformation of their expressive significance.
  • Robert Schumann (1810–1856): wrote three string quartets (opus number 41), not among his better known works
  • Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901): one string quartet, in E minor (1873)
  • Robert Volkmann (1815–1883): six string quartets
  • César Franck (1822–1890): wrote one string quartet (1889)
  • Joachim Raff (1822–1882): wrote eight string quartets (1855 to 1876)
  • Anton Bruckner (1824–1896): wrote one string quartet (1862)
  • Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884): two string quartets, No 1 in E minor From my Life; and No 2 in D minor, with the first being the better known
  • Woldemar Bargiel (1828–1897): at least two quartets (op. 15b in A, op. 47 in D)
  • Karl Goldmark (1830–1915): Goldmark's only string quartet was his "breakthrough" work, his first composition to receive very positive reviews in contemporary Viennese musical journals. Long neglected, it was recorded several times in the 1990's as part of a general revival of interest in Goldmark's chamber music.
    • String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 8 (1860)
  • Alexander Borodin (1833–1887): two string quartets: No 1 in A (1879) and No 2 in D (1881), of which the second is the better known, and whose second Scherzo and Notturno third movement have been "borrowed" for musicals (Kismet)
  • Johannes Brahms (1833–1897): wrote three string quartets, the first two in 1879 and the final one in 1881
  • Felix Draeseke (1835–1913): wrote three string quartets between 1880 and 1895
  • Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921): two string quartets: Op.112 (1889) and Op.153 (1918)
  • Max Bruch (1838–1920): two string quartets, from his student days or a little after, Op.9 in C minor (1858/9) and Op.10 in E major (1860)
  • Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–1893): three string quartets: No 1 in D, Op.11 (1871); No 2 in F, Op.22 (1873); and No 3 in E flat minor, Op.30 (1876), of which the first is the best-known, especially the Andante catabile second movemment which has been recorded many times with full orchestra
  • Antonin Dvorak (1841–1904): wrote fourteen string quartets, with number twelve, the American, the best known
  • Edvard Grieg (1843–1907): wrote two string quartets, the second being unfinished
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908) Better known for his orchestral suites, he also wrote three complete string quartets, two single movements and three other pieces for string quartet
  • Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924): one string quartet, in E minor, Op.121 (1924)
  • Robert Fuchs (1847–1927): four string quartets: No 1 in E, Op.58 (1895); No 2 in A minor, Op.62 (1899); No 3 in C, Op.71 (1903); No 4 in A, Op.106 (1916)
  • Zdenek Fibich (1850–1900): wrote two string quartets (A major 1874, G major 1878) and a set of variations for quartet (B-flat 1883) according to Orfeo CD label
  • Alexander Taneyev (1850–1918): three string quartets: No 1 in G major, Op.25; No 2 in C major Op.28; and No 3 in A major, Op.30 (source: Olympia CD notes)

Born 1851–1900

  • Vincent D'Indy (1851–1931): wrote three string quartets
  • Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924): wrote eight string quartets (1891–1919)
  • Leoš Janáček (1854–1928): wrote two string quartets, known as The Kreutzer Sonata and Intimate Letters
  • Ernest Chausson (1855–1899): wrote one string quartet in three movements; the third movement was completed by Vincent D'Indy after Chausson's death in 1899
  • Christian Sinding (1856–1915): wrote a string quartet, his opus 70
  • Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev (1856–1915): nine complete string quartets, two partial (source: Grove Music Online)
  • Edward Elgar (1857–1934): one string quartet in E minor, Op.83 (1918)
  • Ethel Smyth (1858–1944): one published string quartet, in E minor (1902-1912) and one unpublished, dating from her student days in Leipzig, in C minor
  • Hugo Wolf (1860–1903): wrote one string quartet (1884) and a more famous Italian Serenade for string quartet (1892)
  • Emil von Rezniček (1860–1945): four string quartets, including No 1 in C sharp minor (1921), also in D minor ([2] (http://www.hmt-leipzig.de/website/deu/aktuell/veranstaltungen/2002/okt.htm); pub. Bimbach, 1923, Berlin) and B-flat major (pub. Bimbach, 1932), quartet in C minor (published by E.W. Fritzsch, Leipzig, 1883).
  • Claude Debussy (1862–1918): one string quartet, in G minor, Op.10 (1893)
  • Frederick Delius (1862–1934): wrote three string quartets (1888, 1893 and 1916)
  • Felix Weingartner (1863–1942): four string quartets (in D minor op. 24, F minor op. 26, F op. 34 and D op. 62, pub. 1899, 1900, 1903 and 1918)
  • Alexander Gretchaninov (1864–1956): four string quartets: No 1 in G major, Op. 2 (1894); No 2 in D minor, Op.70 (1913); No 3 in C minor, Op.75 (1915); No 4 in F major, Op.124 (1929)
  • Alberto Nepomuceno (1864–1920): wrote three string quartets
  • Joseph Guy Ropartz (1864–1955): six quartets (1893–1951)
  • Richard Strauss (1864–1949): wrote one string quartet
  • Alexander Glazunov (1865–1936): wrote seven string quartets, and numerous other compositions for string quartet (the Five Pieces of 1879–1881, the Five Novelettes Op.15, the Finale of the B-la-F Quartet and the first movement "Carol-singers" of the Name-day Quartet, the Suite Op.35, the Two Pieces of 1902, and the "Elegy for Belayev" Op.105). The Third Quartet (1888) is often nicknamed the "Slav Quartet", while the Seventh Quartet (1930) is subtitled "Hommage to the Past".
  • Carl Nielsen (1865–1931): wrote four published string quartets, also an early quartet and quartet movements
  • Jean Sibelius (1865–1957): wrote three youthful quartets (1885, 1889 and 1890) and his much better known quartet "Voces Intimae" (1909)
  • Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924): two string quartets, Op 19 in C minor (1884) and Op 26 in D minor (1887)
  • Charles Koechlin (1867–1950): three string quartets, in D op. 51 (1911-13), op. 57 (1911-16), op. 72 in D (1917-21)
  • Hans Pfitzner (1869–1949): wrote four string quartets (in D minor without opus number- 1876?, D major opus 13 1903, C sharp minor opus 36 from 1925 - later arranged into a symphony, and C minor opus 50, 1942)
  • Alfred Hill (1870–1960): Australian composer, wrote seventeen string quartets.
  • Vitezslav Novák (1870–1949): three quartets (1899–1938)
  • Louis Vierne (1870–1937): One string quartet (1894)
  • Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927): Swedish composer, wrote six string quartets
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871–1942) four string quartets and two movements for string quartet: No.1 in A major, Op.4 (1896); No.2, Op.15 (1913-15); No.3, Op.19 (1924); No.4 (Suite), Op.25 (1936); and two movements for string quartet (1927)
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958): two string quartets: No 1 in G minor (1908, rev. 1921) and No 2 in A minor (1942/3)
  • Max Reger (1873–1916): wrote six string quartets
  • Franz Schmidt (1874–1939): quartet 1 in A, quartet 2 in G
  • Josef Suk (composer) (1874–1935): two string quartets — in B-flat, op. 11 from 1896, and op. 31 in one movement from 1911, tonal but from g -> D-flat. Also the Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale "St. Wenceslas", op. 35a, 1914.
  • Charles Ives (1874–1954): wrote two string quartets (1896 and 1913), the first entitled "From the Salvation Army"
  • Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951): wrote four numbered string quartets, the second of which includes a part for soprano. Also composed an early, unnumbered, string quartet
  • Franco Alfano (1875–1954): wrote three string quartets
  • Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962): wrote a string quartet in A minor (1919)
  • Erkki Melartin (1875–1937): wrote four quartets, in E minor (1896), G minor (1900), E-flat major (1902) and in F (1910) ([3] (http://www.fimic.fi/fimic/fimic.nsf/0/6974ee061c4ad603c2256e6700454bcf?OpenDocument))
  • Maurice Ravel (1875–1937): one string quartet, in F major (1903)
  • Erno Dohnányi (1877–1960): wrote three string quartets (1899, 1906, 1926)
  • Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936): two string quartets: No 1 in D major (1907) and "Quartetto Dorico" (1924)
  • Frank Bridge (1879–1941): five string quartets: B flat (1901); No 1 in E minor ('Bologna') (1906); No 2 in G minor (1915); No 3 (1926); No 4 (1937)
  • Ernest Bloch (1880–1959): wrote five string quartets
  • Ermend Bonnal (1880–1944): two string quartets (1927 and 1934) [4] (http://www.bonnal.org/html/musique_chambre.html)
  • Béla Bartók (1881–1945): wrote six string quartets widely regarded as being the finest quartets of the first half of the 20th century
  • George Enescu (1881–1955): wrote two string quartets (no. 1 in E-flat and no. 2 in G, op. 22 nos. 1 and 2, 1916–1920 and 1951)
  • Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881–1950): wrote thirteen (1907 – 1949)
  • Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967): wrote two string quartets (1908 and 1917)
  • Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882–1973): wrote eight string quartets (1920–1964)
  • Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971): Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914); Double Canon for String Quartet (1959)
  • Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937): two string quartets, No 1, Op.37 in C major (1917) and No 2, Op.56 (1927)
  • Joaquín Turina (1882–1949): early quartet op. 4 (1911) and a later work for string quartet, "La Oración del Torero" (1925)
  • Arnold Bax (1883–1953): three string quartets: No 1 in G major (1918), No 2 in E minor and No 3 in F major (1936)
  • Anton Webern (1883–1945): his String Quartet is composed using the twelve tone technique. Also a string quartet, slow movement and rondo from 1905.
  • Alban Berg (1885–1935)
    • String Quartet, Op. 3 (1910)
    • Lyric Suite (serial,1926) for string quartet, a work which influenced Bartók and many others
  • Egon Joseph Wellesz (1885–1974): wrote nine string quartets, #1 'in five movements' op. 14 (1911–12) through #9 op. 97 (1966) and op. 103 Music for String Quartet
  • Kurt Atterberg (1887–1974): three string quartets, only one, no. 2 in b minor, recorded
  • Ernst Toch (1887–1964): 14 string quartets, the first five now lost
  • Fartein Valen (1887–1952): wrote two string quartets
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887–1959): wrote seventeen string quartets between 1915 and 1957
  • Bohuslav Martinu (1890–1959): wrote seven string quartets
  • Arthur Bliss (1891–1975): four string quartets: No 1 in A major (1914); No 2 (1923); No 3 in B flat (1941); No 4 (1950)
  • Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953): wrote two string quartets (1930 and 1941)
  • Arthur Honegger (1892–1955): wrote three string quartets, in C minor (1917), D major (1936), and E major (1937)
  • Darius Milhaud (1892–1974): wrote eighteen, the fourteenth and fifteenth of which may be played as an octet
  • Hilding Rosenberg (1892–1985): wrote twelve (#1, 1920 revised 1955 to #12, 1957)
  • Willem Pijper (1894–1947): five string quartets (1914, 1920, 1923, 1928, 1946)
  • Walter Piston (1894–1976): wrote five string quartets (from 1933 to 1962)
  • Paul Hindemith (1895–1963): a violist, wrote seven string quartets
  • Dane Rudhyar (1895–1985): Crisis and Overcoming (1978), Advent (1976)
  • Roberto Gerhard (1896–1970): two string quartets (1950–5, 1960–2 [5] (http://www.metierrecords.co.uk/text/32.htm). Three earlier quartets at least are lost.)
  • Howard Hanson (1896–1981): one string quartet in one movement (1923)
  • Roger Sessions (1896–1985): two string quartets (1938, 1951,) Canons to the memory of Stravinsky (1971)
  • Virgil Thomson (1896–1989): wrote two string quartets (1931 and 1932)
  • Henry Cowell (1897–1965): wrote four
  • Erich Korngold (1897–1957): perhaps better known for his movie scores, his formal works include three string quartets, Op.16 in A (1923), Op.26 in E-flat (1933), Op.34 in D (1945)
  • Francisco Mignone (1897–1986): wrote two, both in 1957
  • Quincy Porter (1897–1966): wrote nine (#1, 1923–#9, 1953.)
  • Alexandre Tansman (1897–1986): wrote nine (one lost, replaced by Triptych) ([6] (http://www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/composer/tansman.html) for most of that, Fanfare review of a recording for the rest)
  • George Gershwin (1898–1937): wrote one piece for string quartet, a lullaby, 1919 or 1920
  • Jón Leifs (1899–1968): Icelandic composer, 3 string quartets: No 1 'Mors et vita', op.21, (1939); No 2 'Vita et mors', op.36, (1948–51); No 3 'El Greco', op.64, (1965) (source: Grove)
  • Aaron Copland (1900–1990): wrote four pieces for string quartet (1921, unpublished; 1923, 1923, 1928)
  • Ernst Krenek (1900–1991): wrote eight

Born 1901–1950

  • Ruth Crawford-Seeger (1901–1953): String Quartet (1931)
  • Edmund Rubbra (1901–1986): wrote four string quartets (no. 1 in F minor op. 35, 1933 revised 1946; no. 2 in E-flat op. 73, 1951; no. 3 op. 112, 1963; no. 4 op. 150, 1977; dates from the notes to the Sterling Quartet cycle on Conifer)
  • Vissarion Shebalin (1902–1963): wrote nine quartets (1923–1963) [7] (http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/shebalin.htm)
  • William Walton (1902–1983): wrote two string quartets (1922 and 1947)
  • Stefan Wolpe (1902–1972): String Quartet (1968–1969)
  • Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky (1904–1987): wrote two string quartets (1928 and 1945)
  • Alan Rawsthorne (1905–1971): four quartets (1935–1965)
  • Giacinto Scelsi (1905–1988): wrote five (1944, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1984)
  • Michael Tippett (1905–1998): wrote five numbered string quartets plus two unnumbered youthful works
  • Klaus Egge (1906–1979): wrote several
  • Ross Lee Finney (composer) (1906–1997): wrote eight (no. 1 in F minor (1935) to no. 8 (1960))
  • Benjamin Frankel (1906–1973): wrote five (1944–1965)
  • Elisabeth Lutyens (1906–1984): wrote 13
  • Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975): wrote fifteen string quartets, often seen as being as significant, but more "private", works than his fifteen symphonies
  • Camargo Guarnieri (1907–1993): two string quartets (1932, 1944)
  • Elizabeth Maconchy (1907–1994): thirteen quartets
  • Miklós Rózsa (1907–1995): best known for his film scores, Rózsa also composed more formal music including two string quartets, No 1, Op.22 (1950) and No 2, Op.38 (1981)
  • Elliott Carter (born 1908): wrote five string quartets in the second half of the 20th century
  • Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–1969): seven string quartets, the first two only recently published and recorded (the others from 1947 to 1965)
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909–1996): twenty mature string quartets from 1949 to 1985 (several discarded early works, one last Quartetto sereno completed by Per Nřrgĺrd)
  • Samuel Barber (1910–1981): wrote the String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 11 (1936), from which the Adagio for Strings was reorchestrated; the String Quartet No.2, Op. 27 (1948); Serenade for string quartet, Op.1 (1929), arranged for string orchestra in 1944; Dover Beach, for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) & string quartet, Op. 3; and a single quartet movement (1949) for a quartet whose other movements were never written
  • Evgeny Golubev (1910–1988): wrote at least 24 string quartets (1931 – 1986?)
  • William Schuman (1910–1992): wrote five string quartets (1936–1950)
  • John Cage (1912–1992): wrote one string quartet (1950), Thirty Pieces for String Quartet (1983), Music for Four for String Quartet (1987–1988), Four for String Quartet (1989)
  • Conlon Nancarrow (1912–1997): wrote three string quartets (1945, ca. 1948, 1987), second incomplete
  • Benjamin Britten (1913–1976): wrote three numbered string quartets (1941, 1945 and 1975) plus two early unnumbered ones (1928 and 1931) and a number of other works for string quartet (such as the three Divertimenti, 1933)
  • Tikhon Khrennikov (born 1913): one quartet, his opus 33
  • Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994): wrote one string quartet (1964)
  • David Diamond (composer) (born 1915): wrote ten string quartets, from 1940 to 1974
  • George Perle (born 1915): wrote seven, of which five withdrawn
  • Vincent Persichetti (1915–1987): wrote four string quartets (1939, 1944, 1959, 1972)
  • Milton Babbitt (born 1916) wrote five abstract, densely serialistic quartets in the mid-20th century, and a sixth premiered in 2002.
  • Alberto Ginastera (1916–1983): four string quartets, 1948 to 1974, the last with baritone to a text from Beethoven's Heiligenstadt Testament
  • George Rochberg (born 1918) wrote seven, one of which includes variations on Pachelbel's Canon
  • Moisei Vainberg (1919–1996): wrote seventeen, from his op. 2 (1937 rev. 1986) to op. 141 (1987) [8] (http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/vainberg.htm)
  • Peter Racine Fricker (1920–1990): wrote three string quartets (1947 to 1975)
  • William Bergsma (1921–1994): wrote five string quartets (1942, 1944, 1953, 1970, 1982)
  • Joonas Kokkonen (1921–1996): wrote three string quartets (1959, 1966, 1976)
  • Robert Simpson (composer) (1921–1997): wrote 15 string quartets between 1952 and 1991
  • Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001): wrote four works for string quartet: "st/4 — 1,080262" (1955–1962) which was written with the help of an IBM 7090 computer using stochastic algorithms, Tetras (1983), a work in nine sections, Tetora (1990), which means "four" in Dorian, Ergma (1994).
  • György Ligeti (born 1923): String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes") (1953–1954) and String Quartet No. 2 (1968)
  • Peter Mennin (1923–1983): wrote two string quartets (1941 and 1951)
  • Mel Powell (1923–1998): String Quartet (1982)
  • Lejaren Hiller (1924–1994): wrote seven
  • Luciano Berio (1925–2003): wrote three, plus other pieces for string quartet
  • Morton Feldman (1926–1987): wrote two string quartets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the second being over six hours long
  • Hans Werner Henze (born 1926): wrote five
  • Thea Musgrave (born 1928): wrote one string quartet (1958)
  • Ezra Sims (born 1928): String Quartet No. 2 (1962) (really a quintet), Third Quartet (1962)
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara (born 1928) wrote four string quartets
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen (born 1928): Helikopter String Quartet (from "Mittwoch" from "LICHT"), for 4 helicopters & string quartet
  • George Crumb (born 1929): String Quartet, and Black Angels (Images I), for electric string quartet
  • Peter Sculthorpe (born 1929): sixteen string quartets (up to 2005)
  • Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931): wrote four string quartets (1971, 1987, 1987, 1994), the last with tape
  • Mauricio Kagel (born 1931): wrote four
  • Henryk Górecki (born 1933): String Quartet No. 1 ("Already It Is Dusk"), Op. 62, String Quartet No. 2 ("Quasi una Fantasia"), Op. 64
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933): wrote two string quartets (1960, 1968)
  • Roger Reynolds (born 1934): Tetra, Coconino . . . A Shattered Landscape
  • Alfred Schnittke (1934–1998): wrote four string quartets and a Canon in Memoriam Igor Stravinsky and Variations for string quartet
  • François-Bernard Mâche (1935): Eridan, String Quartet op. 57 (1986), written for the Arditti Quartet; Moires for string quartet and tape, Op. 73 (1994)
  • Arvo Part (born 1935): Psalom, Summa, and arranged Fratres for string quartet
  • Terry Riley (born 1935): String Quartet (1960), returned to pre-composed notated music at the request of the Kronos Quartet, Cadenza on the Night Plain, Mythic Birds Waltz, Salome Dances for Peace
  • Peter Schickele (born 1935): five string quartets, two quintets with piano
  • Steve Reich (born 1936): Different Trains, for string quartet & tape; and one Triple Quartet (1999), which may be performed by one quartet (with tape), three, or a 34 piece orchestra
  • Philip Glass (born 1937): wrote five string quartets
  • Gloria Coates (born 1938): had written eight string quartets up to 2002
  • John Corigliano (born 1938): String Quartet (1995), revised for string orchestra as Symphony No. 2 (2000)
  • Alvin Curran (born 1938): VSTO (1993)
  • John Harbison (born 1938): wrote three
  • Charles Wuorinen (born 1938): wrote three
  • Louis Andriessen (born 1939): wrote two
  • Jonathan Harvey (born 1939): wrote two
  • Ingram Marshall (born 1942): Entrada (At the River) for string quartet amplified with processing, Evensongs, Voces Resonae (1984), and Fog Tropes II
  • Brian Ferneyhough (born 1943): String Quartets Nos. 1–4.
  • Paul Lansky (born 1944): String Quartet No. 1 (1967), String Quartet No. 2 (1971–1978), Ricercare (2000)
  • Peteris Vasks (born 1946): wrote four string quartets
  • Kevin Volans (born 1949): wrote six string quartets

Born 1951 and later

String quartets (ensembles)

For the purposes of performance, groups of string players sometimes group together to make ad hoc string quartets. Other groups continue playing together for many years, sometimes changing their members but retaining their name. Well known string quartets include:

External links

de:Streichquartett eo:Arcxa kvarteto hu:Vonósnégyes it:Quartetto di violini nl:Strijkkwartet ja:弦楽四重奏

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