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Help - Quartet Recommendations jerky1280
Sun Feb 10 2002 20:16
I am a sophomore in college, we don't have a string group, so I got a few of us together to start a string quartet. We mostly have classical backgrounds. Our violist and our cellist are very good, but the two violins haven't been played in nearly a year. The last two concertos I played in high school were Viotti No. 23 in G, and Bruch Op. 26 in G. Unfortunately, it's been more than a year since I played on a regular basis.

I was wondering if you could recommend a few quartet pieces to get us started. I want to learn Brandenburg #3, but aside from that I really don't know where to start. Although I'm looking for primarily classical pieces, the most fun I ever had was playing Cry of the Celts from Lord of the Dance, so I'm open to non-classical pieces.
re: Help - Quartet Recommendations serenade13
Sun Feb 10 2002 23:03
Interesting! I had never even thought of any of the Brandenburgs transcribed for string quartet. I have to confess to being something of a purist myself but I'm sure it would sound fine and Bach probably wouldn't mind since he transcribed his own (and other composers) work all the time.

As to other recommendations, here are a few of my favorites. Since I'm not a musician myself I have no idea how easy or difficult these might be.

Mozart - String Quartet in D minor, K421. Very exciting piece! It goes from dark and tragic to bright and cheerful then back to dark, sometimes all in one phrase! All of Mozart's quartets are wonderful but this is my favorite.

Haydn - I'm not as familiar with Haydn's quartets as I should be but he composed approximately 80 of them so there are lots to explore.

Dvorak - String Quartet #12, "The American." His most popular string quartet. The other later ones (#10 - #14) are all very good.

Barber - String Quartet in B minor. This is the string quartet that his famous "Adagio for Strings" was taken from. The complete, original 3 movement quartet is very rarely heard. The outer movements are more harsh and modern sounding but make a very meaningful and poignant frame for the lovely adagio.

Those are the first that come to mind but I love string quartets so when I think of more I will add them.

re: Help - Quartet Recommendations Judge Jules
Mon Feb 11 2002 21:51
A very fine set of recommendations above if I may say so. I'd expand a little on the Mozart theme (forgive me if this is already known to you). K.421 is the first of a set of six quartets which Mozart dedicated to Haydn and which are therefore nicknamed the "Haydn Quartets". These are my favourites in the whole of the string quartet repertoire and you can't go wrong with any of them, but my personal choice among them would be the last of the set, K.458 in B flat, the "Hunt" Quartet - the purest musical sunshine, but with positively no loss of quality or profundity.

As I type, another idea occurs to me - Borodin's String Quartet no.2 in D major, with a drop-dead gorgeous slow movement which you've probably heard in its arrangement for string orchestra.

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