Best String Quarter Pieces Ever Written

A few things are better than a great string quartet piece. You don’t have to be a huge fan of classical music to appreciate the beauty of the string quartet.

One thing you learn after so many years of being a classical musician is the fact that many people actually enjoy listening to classical music but don’t know great pieces to start with.

I’m personally a huge fan of string quartets and find them incredibly underrated in the non-musician population.

It’s about time we change this.

Here are my favorite quartets with links to my favorite performances.

1. String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Also known as the “Dissonance”, this string quartet is one of the most widely loved by string players for its flow and melody.

Mozart composed it in 1785 and it’s considered by many to be his best string quartet piece. It was dedicated to Joseph Haydn.

Favorite performance -> CLICK

2. String Quartet No. 14 in D minor by Franz Schubert


Also known as “Death and the Maiden”. This string quartet is one of the most widely played string pieces. It’s something like “Für Elise” but for chamber music players. This doesn’t make it less good though.

It was composed by Franz Schubert in 1824 right after he suffered a serious illness and realized he was about to die soon. The inevitability of the death could be felt at different points throughout the piece which makes it’s the emotional effect even stronger.

Favorite performance -> CLICK

3. String Quartet No. 2 by Leoš Janáček


Also known as “Intimate Letters”. This string quartet piece was composed by Leoš Janáček in 1928. It has been referred to as Janáček’s “manifesto on love”.

An interesting fact is that the piece was first performed on 11 September 1928 which is a month after Janáček died.

Favorite performance -> CLICK

4. String Quartet No. 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven


Published in 1801, the String Quartet No. 4 is well-known for his dramatism and contrast between parts. Beethoven dedicated it to Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, an aristocrat from Bohemia and a patron of Beethoven.

Favorite performance -> CLICK

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