Piano quartet

Piano quartet

A piano quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of a piano and three other instruments, or a piece written for such a group. In classical music, those other instruments are usually a string trio, that is a violin, viola and cello.

Piano quartets for that standard lineup were written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák and Gabriel Fauré among others. In the 20th century, composers have also written for more varied groups, with Anton Webern's "Quartet", opus 22 (1930), for example, being for piano, violin, clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Olivier Messiaen's "Quatuor pour la fin du temps" (1940) for piano, violin, cello and clarinet. An early example of this can be found in Franz Berwald's quartet for piano, horn, clarinet and bassoon (1819), his opus 1. [ [http://www.musicweb-international.com/Classpedia/Berwald.htm Franz Bernwald, short biography and list of works] ]

A rare form of piano quartets consist of two pianos with two players at each piano. This type of ensemble is informally referred to as "8 hand piano", or "2 piano 8 hands". 8 hand piano was popular in the late 1800s before the advent of recordings as it was a mechanism to reproduce and study symphonic works. Music lovers could hear the major symphonic works all in the convenience of a parlour or music hall that had two pianos and four pianists. Many of the popular works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák were transcribed for two piano eight hands. The majority of 8 hand piano music consist of transcriptions, or arrangements.

List of works

The following is an incomplete list of piano quartets by famous composers.

*Johannes Brahms
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 (1859)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26 (1862)
**Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60 (1875)

*Frank Bridge
**Phantasy Piano Quartet in F-sharp minor, H. 94 (1910)

*Antonín Dvořák
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 23 (1875)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 87 (1889)

*George Enescu
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 16 (1909)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in D minor, Op. 30 (1943–1944)

*Gabriel Fauré
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15 (1876–79, Finale rev. 1883)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45 (1885–86)

*Gustav Mahler
**Piano Quartet in A minor (only 1st movement completed; 1876)

*Heinrich Marschner
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 36 (1827)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 158 (1853)

*Felix Mendelssohn
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 1 (1822)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in F minor, Op. 2 (1823)
**Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor, Op. 3 (1825)

*Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
**Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K. 478 (1785)
**Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, K. 493 (1786)

*Franz Schubert
**Adagio and Rondo concertante in F major, D487 (1816)

*Robert Schumann
**Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47 (1842)

*William Walton
**Piano Quartet in D minor

*Carl Maria von Weber
**Piano Quartet in B-flat major, J. 76 (1809)

References

External links

* [http://www.massey.ac.nz/~wwnzpq/4tet.html Piano Quartet Repertoire — A Comprehensive Listing] of the piano quartet repertoire by major composers at the New Zealand Piano Quartet website
* [http://www.pianokwartetindigo.com Dutch Piano Quartet Pianokwartet Indigo home page]

Further reading

*Basil Smallman (1994) "The Piano Quartet and Quintet: Style Structure, and Scoring", New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816640-0.


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