Chamber Music Pieces for Competition
Hello. I am a sophomore in High School and my chamber group and I are going to enter a competition. We are pretty advanced and have a while to learn the piece. I would love any recommendations! Thanks so much!
What are you made up of in terms of instruments?
And what have y'all already successfully performed (or what have you been coached on to a performance standard)?
It’s a string quartet (might be adding cellist or violist if we want to do a string quintet). We have performed Beethoven Op 18, Op 59 no 7, and Haydn Emporer
I was going to suggest the Emperor quartet. However, Dvorak American is nice
For many competitions you need to play pieces from different periods. For others you need to play multiple movements from a single work. I would recommend working on one classical quartet (ie Haydn or Mozart), one Romantic, and something more modern. Make sure you have at least one slow movement.
I would recommend another Haydn one as you have done one already, then Dvorak and Bartok
Dvorak American is fine but it's played a lot. Schumann?
Smetana "From my Life" is fun! So is Schubert's Death and the Maiden. Or some of the Mendelssohn or Vaughan Williams quartets.
Or you could do Quartet for the End of Time
Or Piazzolla's "Four For Tango."
I hope Joke is jaking, oops sorry, Jake is Joking
The Messiaen is not a string quartet.
But it has quartet in the title
My suggestion is to not play something that is played to death by high schoolers. Death and the Maiden, Shosty 8, and Dvorak's American are ridiculously overdone at the competitive level.
If you don't want to play Dvorak's "American" try op. 51 in E-flat. It is as Dvorakian as it gets (there is a dumka rather than a scherzo) and wonderfully written for the ensemble, especially the first movement. It is not terribly difficult (compared e.g. to Beethoven op. 74), so you will have time to work on the music. Dvorak had a knack for making string instruments sound gorgeous and this quartet is a good example ( an advantage for a competition).
From my own experiences, all of Dvorak's quartets are gorgeous