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String Quintets

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Illfavor, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Illfavor


    Mar 9, 2005
    I'm looking for a String Quintet to play this year with my school, and was wondering if you guys had any good ideas (?)

    I'm not interested in any Mozart whatsoever, and would prefer something from the Romantic Era. I've heard of the Dvorak in G Major but that's about it. I've been looking for something by Brahms but it seems he didn't orchestrate for Bass.

    Any help would be great!
  2. What kind of ensemble are you looking for?

    The Dvorak is a wonderful piece, but all of the parts are extremely difficult. The viola and second violin parts are as hard as they come, and the first violin and cello parts are damn near virtuosic. The bass part is also relatively challenging. If you have the players, then this is your piece.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the Trout Quintet by Schubert. That's for violin, viola, cello, bass and piano. If you have a really good pianist available, then this is a good choice, too.

    Other than that, you're left with a few other options. Those are the two major quintets by big name composers, but I think there's a number of modern pieces for string quintet, as well. If I remember right, Darius Milhaud wrote a few. There are a few classical pieces by no-name composers. I think there's also quite a few from the Baroque era, but that's a stretch.

    You can also arrange your own music, or take pieces like the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and play it as a quintet. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Most composers Mozart's era, have written string quintets - but they generally add another viola or cello part and not a bass! :(
  4. Illfavor


    Mar 9, 2005
    Really?!? The Dvorak is extremely difficult? So, much more difficult that his "American" Quartet, because the players I got it down with little difficulty.
  5. I'm speaking mostly in reference to the first movement. There are some passages in there that are absolutely monstrous for the cello and first violin. You must have had good players.
  6. basscomp


    Feb 7, 2003
    New York, NY
    see the Bottesini info on this page.
  7. rachelcalin


    Sep 13, 2005
    New York
    If you really want Brahms, you can play the second cello part of one of the sextets........ (you would just need one violist in addition to your quintet) i'd recommend the Bb if you want to give it a try, of course the G works too. also there's a fairly comprehensive list of chambermusic w/ bass at www.muroki.com ; scroll to the bottom of the page & youll see the link there. The pieces there fall more under the category of pieces originally meant for bass (not a transcription like the Brahms), so you'll find your Dvorak there, Rossini Quartets, etc.
  8. rachelcalin


    Sep 13, 2005
    New York
    Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you....... there IS a Brahms piece w/ bass, but its only a trio.
  9. Not exactly for school use, admittedly, but if anyone wants to check out Altarus AIR-CD- 9066[3] - a 3-CD boxed set recording of a single string quintet with double bass (and soprano solo) which displays, among many other performing wonders, the phenomenal virtuosity of British based Italian double bass player Corrado Canonici, then please go ahead...