Chronological Lists of the String Quartets of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven


Conditions of Use

String Quartets:


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809):

    See:
  • Karl Geiringer and Irene Geiringer, Haydn: A Creative Life in Music. Third revised and expanded edition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), 171, 179, 181, 211–214, 231–233, 256–259, 284–288, 300, 302–303, 317–318, 320–323.
  • H.C. Robbins Landon and David Wyn Jones, Haydn: His Life and Music ([London]: Thames and Hudson, 1988), 80–84, 156–165, 192–205, 289–296, 352–358.
  • NG VIII 336, 339, 340–341, 345, 347, 350, 353, 354, 355–356, 357, 378–380; NG XVIII 277, 278–279.

  • No. 0 in Eb(comp. 1757):
  • No. 1–10:
    • Divertimenti a quattro Op. 1 (comp. 1757–1762 or earlier; publ. 1764–1766)
      • Op. 1 no. 1 in Bb, "La chasse"
      • Op. 1 no. 5 is actually a symphony with wind parts omitted. String writing is also somewhat different than that of other quartets of Op. 1. (No. 1–4, 6 are almost certainly intended for solo strings.)
    • Divertimenti a quattro Op. 2 (comp. 1760–1763, publ. 1764–1766)
      • Op. 2 no. 3 & 5 also exist as sextets with wind instruments.
    • All of Op. 1 & 2 are 5-movement quartets (with two minuets).
      [Apparently, before 1765, Haydn did not consider the Strng Quartet a distinct genre; rather, he seems to have looked upon these types of works as a sub-set of the general category of Divertimeno. {NG VIII 336.}]
    [Quartets, Op. 3 really were composed by Roman Hoffstetter.]
  • No. 11–16:
    • Divertimenti a quattro Op. 9 (comp. 1769–1771)
    • Show influence of Stamitz. Purpose of composition is not known.
    • Four-movement works. Have "a generally well-distributed four-part texture for a self-sufficient group of solo strings embodying that give and take of theme and motif which is the essence of the true quartet style." [NG XVIII 278.]
  • No. 17–22:
    • Divertimenti a quattro Op. 17 (comp. 1771, publ. 1772)
    • Show influence of Stamitz. Purpose of composition is not known.
  • No. 23–28:
    • Divertimenti a quattro Op. 20 "Sun quartets" (comp. 1772, publ. 1774)
      • Op. 20 no.1, I: False recapitulation (1st subject, in tonic key, but in the middle of the development, leading to more development).
      • Op. 20 no.2, 5, 6 have fugal finales (on four, two, and three subjects). This use of fugal textures is significant in the development of a concept of true solo quartet texture. [NG XVIII 278]
      • Purpose of composition is not known.
    [Although composition of string quartets was of relatively less importance in Haydn's day-to-day work, it is the publication of his Op. 9, 17, and 20 Quartets that spread his fame throughout Europe.]
  • No. 29–34:
    • Quartets Op. 33 "Russian quartets"; Jungfernquartette (comp. 1781, publ. 1782)
      • Op. 33 no. 2 in Eb, "The Joke": beginning of 1st mvt. development a model of 4-voice contrapuntal texture.
      • Op. 33 no. 3 in C, "The Bird"
    • Composed for the publisher Artaria, Vienna.
    • All finales (except No. 1) in rondo or variation form.
    • Minuets called Scherzo, really just quicker Minuets. [First appearance of the Scherzo.]
    [About 1784 Haydn became personally acquainted with Mozart. While the two seldom met, it is known that they did play quartets together on one or two occasions, possibly in 1784 or 1785. At one such event, according to the Irish singer, Michael Kelly (Reminiscences), the players were Dittersdorf, Haydn, Mozart, and Vanhal.]
  • No. 35:
    • Quartet d minor Op. 42 (comp. 1785, publ. 1786)
  • No. 36–41:
    • Quartets Op. 50 "Prussian quartets" (comp. 1787, publ. 1787)
    • Highly unified movements, with extreme motivic concentration; often second subject is variant of first.
    • Finales are not Rondos. Slow movements generally in Rondo structure (or quasi-Rondo).
      • Op. 50 no. 5 in F, (slow mvt: "A Dream")
      • Op. 50 no. 6 in D, "The Frog"
    [Op. 51 is the arrangement of Haydn's The Seven Last Words for string quartet.]
  • No. 42–47:
    • Quartets Op. 54 "Tost quartets" i (comp. 1788, publ. 1789)
    • Quartets Op. 55 "Tost quartets" ii (comp. 1788, publ. 1790)
      • Op. 55 no. 2 in f, "The Razor"
      • Op. 55 no. 3, more chromatic, possibly an influence of Mozart.
  • No. 48–53:
    • Quartets Op. 64 "Tost quartets" iii (comp. 1790, publ. 1791)
      • Op. 64 no. 5 in D, "The Lark"
    [Op. 54, 55, & 64 are possibly Haydn at his most naturally refined in Quartet writing.]
  • No. 54–59:
    • Quartets Op. 71 "Apponyi quartets" (comp. 1793, publ. 1795)
      • Probably composed for performance in London (during Haydn's second visit). Consequently they are more "public" in character than his other Quartets.
    • Quartets Op. 74 (comp. 1793, publ. 1796)
      • Op. 74 no. 3 in g, Reiter ("The Rider")
  • No. 60–65:
    • Quartets Op. 76 "Erdödy quartets" (comp. 1797, publ. 1799)
      • (More experimental; sparser, more fragmented textures.)
      • Op. 76 no. 2 in d, Quintenquartett ("Fifths quartet") (minuet: Hexen-Menuett ["Witches Minuet"])
      • Op. 76 no. 3 in C, "The Emperor" [named for its variations on Haydn's "Emperor's Hymn" melody].
      • Op. 76 no. 4 in Bb, "The Sunrise"
  • No. 66–67:
    • Quartets Op. 77 "Lobkowitz quartets" (comp. 1799, publ. 1802)
      • "Haydn's quartet style at its finest" [NG VIII 357].
  • No. 68:
    • Quartet d minor Op. 103 (comp. 1803, publ. 1806)
    • Movements II & III only

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791):

    See: NG XII 687, 690, 704–705, 710–711, 714, 715, 719–720, 742; NG XVIII 279.

  • Early works influenced by G.B. Sammartini.
  • String Quartet in G major, K. 80 (1770)
    • 3 movements (with Rondeau added later as 4th mvt.)
  • [Divertimenti], K. 136, K. 137, K. 138 (1772)
    • 3 movements
    • K. 136 is cyclic, with 1st & 3rd mvts. sharing thematic material.
  • [Quartet] K. 155 (1772); Quartets K. 156 (1772), K. 157, K. 158, K. 159, K. 160 (1773)
    • 3 movements (iii: minuet in K. 156 & 158)
    • Cyclical key scheme: D—G—C—F—Bb—Eb.
    • Show much influence of G.B. Sammartini (Milanese).
    [1773: Mozart visits Vienna; presumably there becomes familiar with Haydn Quartets, Op. 9, 17, 20, and other new Viennese music (incl. Gluck).]
  • String Quartets in F K. 168; in A K. 169; in C K. 170; in Eb K. 171; in Bb K. 172; in d K. 173 (1773)
    • [Composed in Vienna]
    • New features:
      • Viennese in style (rather than Milanese, as in earlier quartets).
      • more complex, more contrapuntal textures, more imitation, more chromaticism, more intellectual.
      • Finales of K. 168, K. 173 are truly fugal (as Haydn's Op. 20 no. 2, 5, 6). Mozart's first use of fugue outside of Church music.
  • String Quintet in Bb, K. 174 (1773) [2 violas]
  • Fugues for string quartet, K. 405 (1782) [Mozart became personally acquainted with Haydn as early as 1781. The two sometimes both attended "Quartet Parties."] Probably much influenced by Haydn's Op. 33 (1781). In turn, probably influenced Haydn in his later quartets. "Key works in Mozart's output and in the literature of the string quartet as a whole." [NG XVIII 279.]
  • Sei Quartetti…Dedicate al Signor Giuseppe Haydn…, Opera X, Vienna, 1785 [K. 387, 421, 458, 428, 464, 465].
    • Features:
      • Fully developed four-part interaction.
      • Use of counterpoint for thematic intensification.
      • Increased use of chromaticism and strong dissonance.
      • Increased complexity.
  • String Quartet K. 387 (1782; publ. 1785 "Haydn" Op. 10 no. 1)
    • Finale of K. 387 begins with fugal exposition.
  • String Quartets in d, K. 421; in Eb, K. 428 (1783; publ. 1785 "Haydn" Op. 10 no. 2, 4)
  • String Quartet in Bb, K. 458 "Hunt" (1784; publ. 1785 "Haydn" Op. 10 no. 3)
    • Named the "Hunt" for its rollicking 6/8 1st mvt.
    • 1st mvt. Development section uses no 1st or 2nd subject material; Coda develops 1st subject contrapuntally.
  • String Quartets in A, K. 464; in C, K. 465 "Dissonance" (1785; publ. 1785 "Haydn" Op. 10 no. 5, 6)
    • K. 465 slow introduction to first mvt. (only Mozart string quartet with an introduction) is often noted for its dissonant counterpoint.
    • Whole of K. 465 notable for chromaticism.
    [11 December 1784, Mozart became a Freemason.] "Mozart's string chamber music of the [years following the Haydn Quartets] is more relaxed and more expansive, and often more concerned with sensuous beauty of harmony or texture." [NG XII 710.] String Quartet in D, K. 499 "Hoffmeister" (1786; publ. by Hoffmeister, 1786) [composed for publication]
    • Pervading equality of texture, with important viola part; strongly chromatic; remote modulations; much emphasis of parallel and melodic 3rds & 6ths.
  • String Quintets in C, K. 515, in g, K. 516 (1787) [composed for publication]
    • "a peak in his chamber music" [NG XII 710].
    • Much textural variety with 2 parts set against 3 other parts, or 3 upper parts against 3 lower.
    • Greater tessitura than quartets, so richer harmonic writing without heaviness or crowding.
    • K. 515 is Mozart's longest 4-mvt. chamber work.
    • Complex rhythmic structures; remote modulations; very chromatic; dissonant; highly countrapuntal.
  • Adagio and Fugue K. 546 (1788)
  • String Quintet in c, K. 406 (1788)
  • String Trio, "Divertimento", Eb K. 563 (1788) [Mozart's only string trio].
    • "By 1789 he had arrived at a style noticeably more austere and refined, more motivic and contrapuntal, more economical in the use of material, and harmonically and texturally less rich. His late music is melodically less abundant and less expansive; there are fewer new themes in development sections or in exposition codas, and second-group themes are more often derived from primary ones by some form of extension or contrapuntal treatment." Possibly some influence of Haydn's late style. Music is more complex. [NG XII 719.]
  • String Quartets "Prussian" in D, K. 575 (1789); in Bb, K. 589; in F, K. 590 (1790)
  • String Quintet in D, K. 593 (1790)
  • String Quintet in Eb, K. 614 (1791)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827):

    See:
  • Joseph Kerman, The Beethoven Quartets (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967).
  • Joseph de Marliave, Beethoven's Quartets. Preface by Gabriel Fauré; introduction and notes by Jean Escarra; translated by Hilda Andrews (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1961). (Reprint of the 1928 English edition of Oxford University Press. First published in French by Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1925.)
  • Philip Radcliffe, Beethoven's String Quartets (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1968).
  • NG II 396.
String Quartets & Quintets
  • String Quintet in Eb Op. 4 (1795; publ. 1796)
  • String Quartets Op. 18 in F, G, D, c, A, Bb (1798–1800; publ. 1801)
  • String Quintet in C Op. 29 (1801; publ. 1802)
  • String Quartets "Razumovsky" Op. 59 in F, e, C (1805–1806; publ. 1808)
  • String Quartet "Harp" Op. 74 in Eb (1809; publ. 1810)
  • String Quartet "Serioso" Op. 95 in f (1810; publ. 1816)
  • Fugue in D for String Quartet Op. 137 (1817; publ. 1827)
  • String Quartet Op. 127 in Eb (1823–1824; publ. 1826)
  • String Quartet Op. 132 in a (1825; publ. 1827)
  • String Quartet Op. 130 in Bb (1825–1826; publ. 1827)
  • Grosse Fuge in Bb for String Quartet Op. 133 (1825–1826; publ. 1827)
  • String Quartet Op. 131 in c# (1826; publ. 1827)
  • String Quartet Op. 135 in F (1826; publ. 1827)
Other Chamber Music for Strings [excluding duets]
  • Minuet in Ab for String Quartet (ca. 1790)
  • String Trio in Eb Op. 3 (before 1794; publ. 1796)
  • String Trio in C (transcr. of Trio for 2 ob. & eng. hn. Op. 87; 1795; publ. 1806)
  • Serenade in D, String Trio Op. 8 (1796–1797; publ. 1797)
  • 3 String Trios in G, D, c Op. 9 (1797–1798; publ. 1798)
  • Alternate Trio for Minuet of Op. 9 no. 1 (1797–1798)
  • Arrangement for String Quartet of Piano Sonata Op. 14 no. 1 (1801–1802; publ. 1802)
  • Arrangement for String Quartet Op. 104 of Piano Trio Op. 1 no. 3 (1817; publ. 1819)
  • Prelude in d for String Quartet (ca. 1817)
  • Fragment of String Quartet in C (1826; publ. 1838)

©Copyright 1998 by Gordon J. Callon. All rights reserved.

  Back Acadia University Home Page   Back Faculty of Arts Home Page