The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge Companions to Music)

The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge Companions to Music)

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0521000424

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This survey of the string quartet by ten chamber music specialists focuses on four main areas: social and musical background to the genre's development; celebrated ensembles and their significance; and string quartet playing. It reviews aspects of contemporary and historical practice, including "mixed ensembles." Informative appendixes and a full chronology of the mainstream repertory complete this compact guide.















brief mention here should be reassured that thorough investigation of that aspect was necessary before even that brief mention could be properly contextualised. The writers’ and editor’s judgement on what is important is, of course, open to review, so no claim will be made for this volume as the definitive compendium on the string quartet. It is simply one attempt at making as comprehensive a survey as possible within the confines of this ever-expanding series of Companions. The outcome, I hope,

mind open to new ideas. Text ‘The modern practice . . . of “editing” recognised classical and standard works cannot be too severely condemned as a Vandalism’, wrote Moser in 1905.57 He cites Spohr as having particularly suffered from this treatment. Spohr’s quartets are certainly marked in great detail: fingerings, bowings, articulation, metronome marks and even vibrato, leaving no room for doubt as to his intentions. Yet, less than fifty years after his death, his works were being reworked, due

each glissando, which is indicated by the length of the note-value from which it originates; and Earle Brown’s graphic notation in his String Quartet 161 Extending the technical and expressive frontiers prescribes variations in the speed and width of the glissando, as well as approximate pitches and annotated dynamics during its realisation. Harmonics Natural and artificial harmonics were increasingly exploited for their colouristic potential. While Schoenberg incorporated them only

Stowell has been less readily adopted by twentieth-century quartet composers – ´ used it in ‘snap’ form in his Sixth Quartet (iii, b. 101, first although Bartok violin and cello) and Britten adopts it in his First Quartet (viola, bb. 601ff.). Many composers have taken considerable care to prescribe particular plucking agents for specific desired effects. In addition to the percussive flicking or ‘picking’ (Carter’s No. 2) of the string with the fingernail, noted earlier, examples include

legno (discussed later) accounted for many of the developments in twentieth-century bowing technique. However, composers also invented new sounds, often requiring the use of unconventional parts of the instrument and bow and techniques that ran contrary to traditional habits. Demand for asynchronism between the left and right hands, for example, reversed the traditional goals of preserving absolute coordination and synchronisation of fingering and bowing. Some of the fruits of composers’ labours,

Download sample