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Giuseppe Verdi's String Quartet in E minor was written in the spring of 1873 during a production of Aida in Naples. It is the only surviving chamber music work in Verdi's catalogue.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on 24 December 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world; at New York's Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been sung more than 1,100 times since 1886. Ghislanzoni's scheme follows a scenario often attributed to the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, but Verdi biographer Mary Jane Phillips-Matz argues that the source is actually Temistocle Solera.
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.
Verdi's production of Aida in early March, 1873 was delayed due to the sudden illness of soprano Teresa Stolz.Verdi focused his time in Naples on the writing of his first chamber work, the String Quartet in E minor. The work was premiered two days after the opening of Aida during an informal recital at his hotel on April 1, 1873. The names of the original performers survive only as Pinto brothers, violins, Salvadore, viola, and Giarritiello, cello.
A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.
Teresa Stolz was a Bohemian soprano, long resident in Italy, who was associated with significant premieres of the works of Giuseppe Verdi, and may have been his mistress. She has been described as "the Verdian dramatic soprano par excellence, powerful, passionate in utterance, but dignified in manner and secure in tone and control".
Verdi commented on the work, saying "I've written a Quartet in my leisure moments in Naples. I had it performed one evening in my house, without attaching the least importance to it and without inviting anyone in particular. Only the seven or eight persons who usually come to visit me were present. I don't know whether the Quartet is beautiful or ugly, but I do know that it's a Quartet!"
The quartet also exists in a version for string orchestra.[ citation needed ]
The Quartet is scored for the usual string quartet complement of two violins, viola, and cello.
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group. The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music, with most major composers, from the mid 18th century onwards, writing string quartets.
The viola (; Italian pronunciation: [viˈɔːla]) is a string instrument that is bowed or played with varying techniques. It is slightly larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound. Since the 18th century, it has been the middle or alto voice of the violin family, between the violin (which is tuned a perfect fifth above) and the cello (which is tuned an octave below). The strings from low to high are typically tuned to C3, G3, D4, and A4.
The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are usually tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. It is the bass member of the violin family, which also includes the violin, viola and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest (in pitch) bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.
Max Christian Friedrich Bruch, also known as Max Karl August Bruch, was a German Romantic composer and conductor who wrote over 200 works, including three violin concertos, the first of which has become a staple of the violin repertory.
The Takács Quartet is a string quartet, founded in Hungary, and now based in Boulder, Colorado, United States.
The Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, by Johannes Brahms was completed during the summer of 1864 and published in 1865. It was dedicated to Her Royal Highness Princess Anna of Hesse. Like most piano quintets composed after Robert Schumann's Piano Quintet (1842), it is written for piano and string quartet.
The Kopelman Quartet is a Russian string quartet founded in 2002 by Mikhail Kopelman (violin), Boris Kuschnir (violin), Igor Sulyga (viola) and Mikhail Milman (cello). They studied at the Moscow Conservatory in the 1970s, but pursued individual careers for twenty-five years before founding the quartet.
Franz Schubert's final chamber work, the String Quintet in C major is sometimes called the "Cello Quintet" because it is scored for a standard string quartet plus an extra cello instead of the extra viola which is more usual in conventional string quintets. It was composed in 1828 and completed just two months before the composer's death. The first public performance of the piece did not occur until 1850, and publication occurred three years later in 1853. Schubert's only full-fledged string quintet, it has been praised as "sublime" and as possessing "bottomless pathos," and is generally regarded as Schubert's finest chamber work as well as one of the greatest compositions in all chamber music.
The Octet in F major, D. 803 was composed by Franz Schubert in March 1824. It was commissioned by the renowned clarinetist Ferdinand Troyer and came from the same period as two of Schubert's other major chamber works, the 'Rosamunde' and 'Death and the Maiden' string quartets.
Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 49, was composed in six weeks during the summer of 1938. It carries no dedication.
The Divertimento in E-flat major, K. 563, is a string trio, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1788, the year in which he completed his last three symphonies and his "Coronation" Piano Concerto. It is widely regarded as separate from his other divertimenti.
The Quintet in A minor for Piano and String Quartet, Op. 84 is a chamber work by Edward Elgar.
The String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K. 516, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is like all of Mozart's string quintets a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet and an extra viola . The mood of the piece is dark and melancholic, typical of Mozart's G minor works.
The String Quintet No. 3 in C major, K. 515 was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Like all of Mozart's string quintets, it is a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet and an extra viola.
Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1796.
The six String Quartets, Op. 76 by Joseph Haydn were composed in 1797 or 1798 and dedicated to the Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erdődy (1754–1824). They form the last complete set of string quartets that Haydn composed. At the time of the commission, Haydn was employed at the court of Prince Nicolaus Esterházy II and was composing the oratorio The Creation as well as Princess Maria Hermenegild Esterházy's annual mass.
The String Quintet in C minor, Op. 104, written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1817, performed on 10 December 1818, and published in 1819, is an arrangement of the early C minor Piano Trio, Op. 1 No. 3. This work is scored for a string quintet with two violas.
Richard Henry Walthew, also known as Richard H. Walthew was an English composer and pianist.
Lawrence Power is a British violist, born 1977, noted both for solo performances and for chamber music with the Nash Ensemble and Leopold String Trio.
The String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83, was one of three major chamber music works composed by Sir Edward Elgar in 1918. The others were the Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82, and the Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84. Along with the Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 of 1919, these were to be his last major works prior to his death in 1934.
The Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26, by Johannes Brahms is scored for piano, violin, viola and cello. It was completed in 1861 and received its premiere in November 1863 by the Hellmesberger Quartet with the composer playing the piano part. It has been especially noted for drawing influence from composer Franz Schubert. Lasting approximately 50 minutes, this quartet is the longest of Brahms's chamber works to perform.
The String Quartet in D major is the only string quartet composed by César Franck. The work was written from 1889 to 1890.
Hyperion Records is an independent British classical record label.
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the Petrucci Music Library after publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, is a subscription-based project for the creation of a virtual library of public-domain music scores. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, over 370,000 scores and 42,000 recordings for over 110,000 works by over 14,000 composers have been uploaded. Based on the wiki principle, the project uses MediaWiki software. Since June 6, 2010, the IMSLP has also included public domain and licensed recordings in its scope, to allow for study by ear.