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Quartet what is it

In music, an ensemble consisting of four musicians or singers is called a quartet. The most widespread among them was the string quartet, consisting of two violins, viola and cello.

It appeared back in the 18th century, when amateur musicians, gathering in the evenings, spent their leisure time playing the stringed instruments. Over time, prominent musicians began to unite in quartets. Such ensembles performed at the courts of princes, in the noble rooms, and since the 19th century. – in concert philharmonic halls. Now the string quartet is one of the most common types of chamber ensemble.

However, there are still a number of varieties of quartets. By the composition of the instruments, quartets are homogeneous (bowed, woodwinds) and mixed (for example, bowed with oboe or piano). A quartet consisting of three stringed bowed instruments – violin, viola, cello – and the piano is called the piano. Vocal quartets are female, male, mixed (soprano, viola, tenor, bass, etc.).

The quartet is called not only a musical collective, but also a musical piece for four performers.

Quartet – a work for 4 instruments – the leading genre of chamber music. Quartets of homogeneous instruments (2 violins, viola, cello) and mixed (stringed, with wind or piano) are common.

Compositions for the string quartet began to be created from the middle of the 18th century, that is, when such groups were already formed. The quartets of the great classical composers of the past and today occupy an honorable place in the treasury of world chamber music. Among them are the works of J. Haydn, V. A. Mozart, L. Beethoven, F. Schubert, R. Schumann, I. Brahms.

The first to use the quartets were the composers of the Mannheim School. In Italy, many string quartets were written by Antonio Saccini (1730-1786) and Luigi Boc Kerini (1743-1805).

Haydn’s first quartet was created in 1755. Until the 80s. XVIII century. The Quartet retained the form of a suite typical of divertissements and serenades. By the end of the XVIII century. Haydn (83 string quartets, including 6 “Russian”) and Mozart (23 string quartets, 2 piano quartets) finally approved the sonata cycle form in the quartet.

Beethoven retained this form in his quartets. He owns 16 quartets, including 3 “Russians” (Op. 59, 1807), written on the themes of Russian folk songs. In the last 5 quartets (Op. 127 – E Flat Major, Op. 130 – B Flat Major, Op. 131 — C Sharp Minor, Op. 132 — A Minor, Op. 135 – F Major) a new ideological and philosophical the content led to a significant complication of the form.

The quartets took a prominent place in the work of Schubert (19 string Quartets; 3 of them were lost, the 7th with the variations on the theme of his song “Death and the Girl” – D minor, 1824), Schumann (3 string quartets, piano quartet), Mendelssohn (6 string quartets, 3 piano quartets), Brahms (6 string quartets). From the 2nd half of the 19th century string quartets became the favorite chamber genre of most composers of various schools; Quartets of French composers Chausson, Debussy, Ravel are widely known. Bright color characterizes the Grieg quartet (2nd, 2nd is not finished), Sibelius (2nd, 2nd – “Intimate Voices”).

String quartets were written by the Polish composers Monyushko (2), Shimanovsky (2), Kazimierz Sikorsky (b. 1895), Zbigniew Turski (b. 1908), Vitold Rudzinsky (b. 1913). Outstanding quartets were created by composers George Enescu (3), Konstantin Silvestri (b. 1913), Bedřich Smetana (2), Leos Janacek (2), Joseph Suk (2), Bela Bartok (6) (1st —1908, 6- d — 1939), Paul Hindemith, Semuel Barber (b. 1910), Benjamin Britten (b. 1913), Veseliya Stoyanov (b. 1902), Claudi Santor (b. 1919), Josip Slovensky (1896–1955), Petar Konovich (p. 1883). In Russia, the string quartet began to be cultivated from the XVIII century. In this genre they wrote: Bortnyansky, Alyabyev (3 strings and 1 for 4 flutes), Dargomyzhsky (2), Rubinstein (10). The new stage in the development of the quartet genre was the works of Borodin (2 string quartets; the 2nd with Nocturne), Tchaikovsky (3rd, 2nd with Andante cantabile), Taneyev (9).

Exquisite workmanship is distinguished by the 7th Quartet of Glazunov (the most famous is the 3rd, “Slavic”). In the work of Soviet composers, the string quartet occupies a significant place. Myaskovsky Quartet (13), Prokofiev, Glier, Shebalin are famous. The largest contribution to quartet music was made by Shostakovich – the author of 10 quartets.

The founders of the Russian classical quartet are A.P. Borodin and P.I. Tchaikovsky. The Tchaikovsky quartets are characterized by a powerful scope, passionate temperament and at the same time sincereness (especially to their slow parts). So, the basis of the well-known second part of the First String Quartet is the Russian song “Vanya was sitting on the couch”. Both Borodin quartets are distinguished by poetry, calm, balanced lyricism, and picturesqueness. Russian quartet music owes much to S. I. Taneev and A. K. Glazunov. Soviet composers made a huge contribution to the quartet heritage. Among them – N. Ya. Myaskovsky, S. S.

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