As a high schooler passionate about classical music, me and a couple of my friends decided to make a string quartet for fun. I would appreciate some piece suggestions. For reference I’m around Bruch level, the second violinist is around Bach Double, and the cellist and violist are around intermediate level repertoire(sorry I can’t be more specific)
Haydn early quartets.
Mozart C Major K157
Borodin Quartet No.2 in D major. I played it with friends in school who were at similar levels. At the time I was learning Mendelssohn, 2nd violinist was learning that Monti gypsy piece that I can't spell (not the same as Bach Double, but I always thought of Bach as something that one plays after they acquire decent technique), and the violist and cellist were self-described intermediates.
I think early Beethoven would be appropriate. There's also Mendelssohn's Op. 81 Four Pieces for String Quartet, which are somewhat easier than his string quartets. Villa-Lobos String Quartet No. 1 is worth a look: very accessible to intermediate players, and fun to play even if it's not especially profound.
Beethoven, Op. 18 (any and all 6 of them). Most Mozart and Haydn.
Holst's St Pauls Suite and Brook Green Suite, Warlock's Capriol Suite. Albinoni Sinfonia in G. These are all for string orchestra, but I believe they would work really well with a quartet
I'd always start with Haydn. Op.33, Op.76, Op.77 quartets might be a place to start. The single quartet of Op.42 was one of the first quartets I played. It is a miniature masterpiece only 10 mins long.
yes. op 33 in d is wonderful
If you are Bruch level you can play a large percentage of the standard repertoire (assuming you play first fiddle). And your friends will be able to tackle their parts for most pieces as well.
The reason one might not do Mozart or Beethoven with an amateur orchestra is because the pieces require precision of ensemble, which is difficult to achieve, which might lead to a reluctance to perform them in public. That's quite different from saying, "Don't waste masterpieces on amateurs." (Not-great Classical-era composers will sound equally problematic.)
The Milanese quartets (K 155-160) by Mozart are pretty and (by Mozart standards) fairly easy. I'd start there, maybe.
Dvorak American St. Qt. might be a bit of a reach, but well worth it for developing listening and ensemble skills. Others would be Beethoven op. 18, 4. Haydn op. 20's. If you want to start with something less difficult technically and shorter Mozart C major quartet K 157.
A lot of answers predicated on "since you're doing Bruch ..." but ignoring the inconvenient truth that the other violinist is doing the Doc Bubble.
Quite a bit depends on whether or not people are really going to going to practice their parts, and how steady people are rhythmically. (Personally, I can usually easily sight-read first-violin parts from a purely technical basis, but my terrible sense of rhythm means that I really need to listen to a piece in advance in order to not screw up the places where I don't have a tune I can remember.)
Paul - I can't understand why it is not as well known here as Fischer's books (for example). Such a labor of love...
A few add-ons to Paul's ideas: Schubert is hard. Rosamunde (the A-Major quartet) is hard (the first and the last movements certainly are, the andante is somewhat more accessible). Death and the Maiden is harder. The last one in G Major is even harder. I'd stay away from them for the beginning. If you must try Schubert try one of the early ones. There is one in E flat. Very charming and not harder than Haydn, rather easier I'd say.
I would also say the Borodin is a huge stretch. There's a big gap in difficulty between the Bach double and the Borodin second violin part. Assuming the violist and cellist are of similar ability to the second violinist, they are likely to find the Borodin too difficult as well.
I listened to the Rosamunde again. Emersons -- glorious playing.
Re: cherry-picking movements, that got me in trouble at sight-reading camp a couple of summers ago when I thought I knew certain quartets (e.g. Beethoven Opus 127) only to find myself knee-deep in a scherzo or final movement that indeed I hadn't ever read before. Oops. Maybe start keeping a log of what you've played, which surprise mini-cadenzas lurk in which sections, etc.