String Quartet Rep
I just wanted to ask- what's some good 20th Century string quartet rep myself and three other highschoolers could perform for district (and hopefully make state with) next year?
As a group, we were looking at Shostakovich's 9th, 10th, 11th, and 15th quartets and maybe something by Prokofiev or Bartok. (Not Shosty 8 though, as it's severely overplayed in our school district).
To give you some background information about our experience in chamber music, we recently all performed the orchestral version of Schoenberg's Transfigured Night and three of us played the second movement of Ravel's string quartet in a chamber orchestra last year.
Check out Hindemith and Milhaud.
some piazzolla might be cool :)
I just learned about the Ruth Crawford Seeger quartet (which I've never seen programmed).
The Janacek quartets are crazy tough; they're no stuff for highschool amateurs.
Yeah, I realized that after I posted; hence the disclaimer. Still worth listening to and digesting, I think.
Oh, listening, absolutely. They're wonderful pieces, but too complex and full of special effects for non-pros I'd say.
Samuel Barber op.11?
Shostakovich 3, Britten 1
Why don't you ask your private teachers? If you're playing at that level, surely you are all studying privately. And hopefully get some coaching from one or more of your teachers.
Check out Villa Lobos #1 - not terribly difficult, and a really nice suite of short movements. Not heard very often, but charming.
Another vote for Villa-Lobos! It's loads of fun.
I am actually playing Shostakovitch's 7th quartet and it is amazing. I definitely recommend you consider it! I agree, the 8th quartet is so overplayed in general but it is a masterpiece nonetheless. Good luck!
The 7th is indeed amazing - my quartet performed it last year. Very difficult, though - the 2nd movement is tough to synchronize tightly with all parts. A very haunting piece, though, & worth the effort to prepare. And, it is short! Only about 13 minutes long.
Is Janacek not sufficiently contemporary? His quartets were written in the 1920s.
Arvo Pärt's string quartets may be sufficiently contemporary:
Rebecca Clarke wrote a lovely quartet.
The second String Quartet of Frank Bridge (written 1914/1915) is wonderful!
David Stone has written some wonderful quartets. He's a bit more modern, which could help you guys stand out, and they're not very difficult at all to play. I performed it in a quartet back in 2003 or so when I was a freshman in high school. We did his String Quartet no. 2. I have a live performance recording of it, I can try to find it and upload/link to it if you'd like. It's such a fun piece that is bound to make you guys stand out (for all the right reasons). Let me know if you want me to find that recording.
We've decided that we're going with Shostakovich's Seventh Quartet since it's dark, gorgeous (especially that second movement), and will be difficult to pull off for ensemble.
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