The String Quartet: From the Private to the Public Sphere


edited by Christian Speck, Turnhout, Brepols, 2016 (Speculum Musicae, 27), pp. XXX+388, ISBN 978-2-503-56800-3.


The String Quartet: From the Private to the Public Sphere approaches the history and growing prestige of the string quartet from the time of its emergence, in circa 1750, until the middle of the nineteenth century. The volume explores the historical, historiographical and biographical facets oxf the genre’s increasing dominance and ultimate supremacy.

Various geographical regions of string-quartet production are encompassed, including Austria, Spain, Italy and Great Britain. Specific issues raised by individual contributions include the concepts of ‘late style’; notions of sophistication, comprehensibility and popularity; repertoires and the dissemination of manuscript parts and editions; theoretical writing on the string quartet and concert programming.

Several contributions include analytical studies of string quartets by ‘classical’ composers, such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; others approach equivalent works by less canonical composers, including Luigi Boccherini, Gregorio Ballabene, Samuel Wesley and Feliks Janiewicz.

The contributing authors are: Cliff Eisen, Michaela Freemanová, Lolita Fūrmane, Christiane Heine, Stephen Husarik, Anne M. Hyland, Stephanie Klauk, Rainer Kleinertz, Walter Kurt Kreyszig, Warwick Lister, Simon McVeigh, Balázs Mikusi, Nancy November, Christian Speck and Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald.

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