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The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet


Part of Cambridge Companions to Music

Christina Bashford, Robin Stowell, Tully Potter, David Waterman, Simon Standage, David Wyn Jones, W. Dean Sutcliffe, Stephen E. Hefling, Jan Smaczny, Kenneth Gloag, Colin Lawson
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  • Date Published: November 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521801942

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About the Authors
  • This Companion offers a concise and authoritative survey of the string quartet by eleven chamber music specialists. Its fifteen carefully structured chapters provide coverage of a stimulating range of perspectives previously unavailable in one volume. It focuses on four main areas: the social and musical background to the quartet's development; the most celebrated ensembles; string quartet playing, including aspects of contemporary and historical performing practice; and the mainstream repertory, including significant 'mixed ensemble' compositions involving string quartet. Various musical and pictorial illustrations and informative appendixes, including a chronology of the most significant works, complete this indispensable guide. Written for all string quartet enthusiasts, this Companion will enrich readers' understanding of the history of the genre, the context and significance of quartets as cultural phenomena, and the musical, technical and interpretative problems of chamber music performance. It will also enhance their experience of listening to quartets in performance and on recordings.

    • Was the first book to provide such a comprehensive view of the string quartet
    • Considers the repertory for string quartet as well as practical aspects of performance
    • Edited by the best-selling Cambridge editor of companions to the violin and cello
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521801942
    • length: 390 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.89kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 14 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Social Changes and Organological Developments:
    1. The string quartet and society Christina Bashford
    2. Developments in instruments, bows and accessories Robin Stowell
    Part II. Celebrated Ensembles:
    3. From chamber to concert hall Tully Potter
    4. The concert explosion and the age of recording Tully Potter
    Part III. Playing String Quartets:
    5. Playing quartets: a view from the inside David Waterman
    6. Historical awareness in quartet performance Simon Standage
    7. Extending the technical and expressive frontiers Robin Stowell
    Part IV. The String Quartet Repertory:
    8. The origins of the quartet David Wyn Jones
    9. The Classical style: Haydn, Mozart and their contemporaries W. Dean Sutcliffe
    10. Beethoven and the Viennese legacy David Wyn Jones
    11. The Austro-Germanic quartet tradition in the nineteenth century Stephen E. Hefling
    12. Traditional and progressive nineteenth-century trends: France, Italy, Great Britain and America Robin Stowell
    13. Nineteenth-century national traditions and the string quartet Jan Smaczny
    14. The string quartet in the twentieth century Kenneth Gloag
    15. The string quartet as a foundation for larger ensembles Colin Lawson.

  • Editor

    Robin Stowell, Cardiff University
    Robin Stowell is Professor and Head of Music at the University of Wales College of Cardiff and a professional violinist who has written extensively on stringed instruments and performance. He is author of Violin Technique and Performance Practice in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (1985), Beethoven: Violin Concerto (1998) and The Early Violin and Viola (2001), editor of Performing Beethoven (1994), The Cambridge Companion to the Violin (1992), The Cambridge Companion to the Cello (1999) and co-author of The Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction (1999), all published by Cambridge University Press.


    Christina Bashford, Robin Stowell, Tully Potter, David Waterman, Simon Standage, David Wyn Jones, W. Dean Sutcliffe, Stephen E. Hefling, Jan Smaczny, Kenneth Gloag, Colin Lawson

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