As Donald Tovey put it: "with Op. After the Second World Warsome composers, such as Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen questioned the relevance of the string quartet and avoided writing them. Substantial modifications to the typical structure were already achieved in Beethoven's later quartetsand despite some notable examples to the contrary, composers writing in the twentieth century increasingly abandoned this structure.
The string quartet became a fashionable aspect of eighteenth-century European society as wealthy patrons used the quartet as fashionable entertainment in their homes. Haydn's early biographer Georg August Griesinger tells the story thus: The following purely chance circumstance had led him to try his luck at the composition of quartets.
Franz Schubert 's String Quartet No. The quartet is a musical example of how the partnership of four distinct elements can co-exist in a mutually fulfilling way. Clearly composed as sets, these quartets feature a four-movement layout with more broadly conceived, moderately paced first movements and, in increasing measure, a democratic and conversational interplay of parts, close-knit thematic development, and skilful though often self-effacing use of counterpoint.
A slight slackening in the pace of quartet composition occurred in the nineteenth century. If the combination of two violins, viola and cello was not unknown before Haydn, when it occurred in chamber music it was more likely through circumstance than conscious design; certainly the string quartet enjoyed no recognized status as an ensemble in the way that two violins with basso continuo — the so-called 'trio sonata' — had for more than a hundred years.
They are generally categorized as being the early, middle, and late quartets. Cover sheet of Beethoven's thirteenth string quartet as published in Berlin on June 2, The intervening years saw Haydn begin his lifelong employment as Kapellmeister to the Esterhazy princes, for whom he was required to compose numerous symphonies and dozens of trios for violin, viola and the curious bass instrument called the baryton played by Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy himself.
These works are widely considered to be among the greatest musical compositions ever written. Many other chamber groups can be seen as modifications of the string quartet, such as the piano quintet, which is a string quartet with an added piano ; the string quintet, which is a string quartet with an extra viola, cello or double bass; the string trio, which contains one violin, a viola, and a cello; and the piano quartet, a string quartet with one of the violins replaced by a piano.