Introduction to the String Quartet (Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4)

The string quartet, a combination of two upper voices, one middle and one lower, gives the composer the minimum requirement for fourpart harmony. This idea of a bare minimum has entranced composers from Haydn – who started it all – right through to the present day, and the attention that so many great composers have given the genre has created an almost unrivalled succession of masterful works; Beethoven’s seventeen quartets acting almost as benchmarks, with Schubert, Brahms, Bartók and Shostakovich pitching in too.

In this four-part podcast, Roy Stratford to explores how the string quartet has adapted to changing musical styles and become arguably the most significant and fertile chamber music combination.

Autumn 2019 Wigmore Series

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