String quartet or quintet with piano pieces

November 24, 2017, 2:31 PM · Has anyone any suggestions for repertoire for string quartet (or quintet 2xviolins, viola, cello, bass) with a piano. Nothing too difficult, about an intermediate standards please?
I think I recently heard a Brahms for a quartet plus piano but can’t remember what it was called.

Thank you

Replies (12)

November 24, 2017, 3:27 PM · Schumann! Both quartet and quintet are fantastic.
Edited: November 24, 2017, 3:37 PM · The Brahms you're talking about is virtuoso stuff for the pianist and probably close to that for everyone else. The Schumann that Bo mentioned is something you'll see skilled high-schoolers playing. My daughter played violin in that one at Suzuki Camp last year. The pianist was an unusually talented 13-year-old. His playing was extremely clean. I told him afterward that I thought he was ready for Scarlatti and he smiled knowingly.

If you type "piano quintets IMSLP" into Google you will get a lot of choices.

Edited: November 24, 2017, 3:39 PM · In my opinion, the piano parts in the chamber music literature (trios,quartets, quintets, etc.) are really challenging works. They are well-nye impossible for the strings without a pianist who can really play them well with perfect counting, and such pianists are pretty rare.

If you know a good sight-reading pianist, you are blessed indeed - even if it means a bit of faking here and there!

For the sheer joy of playing and listening, nothing beats Schubert's "Trout Quintet" but only one violin part. And, yes, Bo is right, those two Schumanns are exquisite.

November 24, 2017, 7:04 PM · Thank you. I was a little unclear in my original post. The string players are intermediate but the pianist is a professional.
November 24, 2017, 9:24 PM · My favourite piano quintets are the Schumann and the Cesar Franck (sadly, the slow movement isn't as haunting as that of the Symphony). Those of Dvorak and Brahms are also great, probably also Shostakovich (which I haven't got into yet). The Dohnanyi is also rewarding to play.
I haven't seen the arrangement of the Mozart piano and wind quintet, but Beethoven reworked his for piano with only three string instruments.
Wikipedia lists others.
November 25, 2017, 1:14 AM · The Trout! Though I don’t know how hard it is.
Also the Shostakovich is not that hard, and really beautiful too!
November 25, 2017, 2:02 AM · My suggestion would be to take the advice of your pianist
November 28, 2017, 7:21 AM · "My suggestion would be to take the advice of your pianist"

Not if the players are intermediate...
Besides, not all pianists, even professionals, know the chamber literature thoroughly.

November 28, 2017, 7:38 AM · According to the OP, the pianist is a professional. I would certainly ask for input from the pianist.
November 28, 2017, 7:41 AM · I'd say the pianist's advice is especially important when the string players are relatively inexperienced. In every piano quintet the pianist carries 50% of the burden so if he or she doesn't approve the work I don't think the result would be very enjoyable for anyone.
Edited: November 28, 2017, 8:09 PM · The Dohnanyi C minor piano quintet is gorgeous ... but it's virtuoso stuff for the pianist, very hard and very long. There is a nice recording on YouTube with Takacs Quartet & Andras Schiff (audio only). Those of us who studied the piano as kids know that Dohnanyi's etude book was diabolical, the kind of stuff that twists your hands into pretzel knots.

If your pianist is a professional you might ask what (s)he already has in repertoire.

November 28, 2017, 8:16 PM · Intermediate-level players tend to do Mozart and the like. Many of the Romantic piano quintets have challenging string parts.


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