Most beautiful string quartet movements of all time? (Thinking wedding, but something unusual.)
The Terremoto from the Seven Last Words of Christ (Haydn). Not sure if that would go well at a wedding though. :)
What portion of a wedding? And how long? (For things like processionals, there needs to be proper timing.)
Yep, which portion of the wedding and how long the walk is crucial to your question.
Check out Antonin Dvorák's Cypresses quartet, B152. Each movement is an arrangement of a love song from earlier in his career. The movements vary in length quite a bit, so you might be able to find something from it that works.
Haydn OP3 NR5 Andante Cantabile
If this is music for a processional, it needs to be something that can be ended in the middle without sounding abrupt. (To give you the idea, Pachelbel Canon and Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring may be overplayed, but they are pretty much perfect processional music.) You don't want to have the entire wedding party in place, just standing there for an extra five minutes while the quartet keeps playing.
mozart dissonant slow mvmt. Borodin. Some nice small pieces in Les Vendredis.
This is not for the processional. Timing doesn't matter. Mostly for prelude. Perhaps for something in the middle of the wedding. My fiance and I are both classical musicians, and the things going on in the wedding will work around the music, instead of the typical vice versa. Just trying to get input from the community about favorite string quartet movements. Thanks!
And to clarify, I actually "do" want the entire wedding party in place while the string quartet continues to play for five more minutes. Thanks!
Just bear in mind that bridal party members (of either gender) are prone to fainting if the weather is warm and they've got to stand at attention for too long. They just fall right over -- thud.
Haha, yes, thanks. It's in a well air-conditioned church where the acoustics are good.
Possibly overplayed but still beautiful - slow movement of Borodin's second quartet.
Schubert is what came immediately to my mind. Both Rosamunde and Death and the Maiden. If you want to go a different direction though, I think Michael McLean and others have some Tangos for quartets.
Beethoven! Opus 18 No 1 slow movement is exquisite, and of course there's the Cavatina from Opus 130 (and the Andante is lovely too!)
The Andante Cantabile from Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No.1 Op.11 exudes a feeling of quiet joy, peace and contentment. Marriage doesn't get any better than that (often gets worse).