String quintet suggestions for repertoire

February 2, 2018, 8:03 PM · Hi
I’m looking for ideas for a string quintet, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass or 2 violins, viola, cello, guitar. Round about intermediate or early advanced level. To be worked on over a long weekend and performed at the end.


Replies (7)

February 2, 2018, 8:17 PM · Dvorak has a string quintet for 2 vln, vla, cello, and bass.
It's pretty good.
February 2, 2018, 8:38 PM · Lots of "gig music" is for string quartet with optional double bass. My friend and colleague Judy Levine-Holley published a set of really lovely arrangements of traditional Jewish wedding music, for example.
February 3, 2018, 5:59 AM · Lots of stuff with guitar by Boccherini.
February 3, 2018, 2:09 PM · Mozart divertimenti (e.g., Nachtmusik). They can be done by quartets but the bass helps out when you’re playing outdoors.
February 6, 2018, 6:16 PM · Several excellent ones with 2 violas, e.g., 2 Mozart, 2 Brahms, a Bruckner ...
There's quite a good one with 2 cellos by someone called Schubert, I believe ...
February 7, 2018, 9:51 PM · Viola quintets (two violas) offer the most choices -- six by Mozart (the last three are magnificent), three by Beethoven, two by Mendelssohn, two by Brahms, and Dvorak Op 97 plus some good ones by minor composers. (See Imslp)

Cello quintets include the great Schubert C major, Beethoven, Borodin, Glazunov. There's also a wonderful Dvorak quintet for cello and bass. I especially recommend the Glazunov which is simply a blast for all five players.

If you're talking intermediate players, the Mozart quintets, which are wonderful, especially the late ones, are a good entry point. Everything else on the list is pretty challenging. With most of these (Brahms, Dvorak) you've got to have five musicians who can count or a reading session can be a bit tedious.

Edited: February 8, 2018, 3:32 AM · I do have a work for quintet (with double bass) plus mezzo-soprano. It's a short tango-inspired song-cycle. At one point I did an instrumental version for quintet alone but these days I prefer the original version;

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