Chamber Music Pieces for Competition

July 24, 2019, 11:30 AM · 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!

Replies (17)

Edited: July 24, 2019, 11:37 AM · What are you made up of in terms of instruments?
July 24, 2019, 12:13 PM · And what have y'all already successfully performed (or what have you been coached on to a performance standard)?
July 24, 2019, 1:33 PM · 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
July 24, 2019, 1:42 PM · I was going to suggest the Emperor quartet. However, Dvorak American is nice
Edited: July 24, 2019, 2:59 PM · 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.
July 24, 2019, 3:06 PM · I would recommend another Haydn one as you have done one already, then Dvorak and Bartok
July 24, 2019, 4:02 PM · Dvorak American is fine but it's played a lot. Schumann?
July 24, 2019, 4:52 PM · Tchaik 1?
Edited: July 24, 2019, 5:08 PM · Smetana "From my Life" is fun! So is Schubert's Death and the Maiden. Or some of the Mendelssohn or Vaughan Williams quartets.

If you add a viola, there's a gorgeous Vaughan Williams quintet. "Phantasy". Absolutely beautiful.

July 24, 2019, 8:54 PM · Or you could do Quartet for the End of Time
July 24, 2019, 9:16 PM · Or Piazzolla's "Four For Tango."
July 25, 2019, 12:29 AM · I hope Joke is jaking, oops sorry, Jake is Joking
July 25, 2019, 12:47 PM · The Messiaen is not a string quartet.
Edited: July 25, 2019, 1:11 PM · But it has quartet in the title
July 25, 2019, 3:50 PM · 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.

I'd suggest one of Beethoven's middle quartets (either Harp or Serioso), Shostakovich 7, or Dvorak 13.

July 25, 2019, 6:16 PM · 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).
July 25, 2019, 6:46 PM · From my own experiences, all of Dvorak's quartets are gorgeous


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