For those who may be new to classical music in general or chamber music in particular, it may hard to know where to begin to start to listen to string quartets.
Below is a list of some famous and popular works by a range of composers which make a good start:
Haydn, String Quartet, Op. 64, No. 5: Known as "The Lark", this string quartet was named in the eighteenth century due to the songlike nature of its opening theme.
Mozart, String Quartet No. 19: Named for its tense and dramatic introduction, this work is known as “Dissonant”, however it quickly resolves into a bright, typically tuneful Mozart quartet.
Beethoven, String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 3: An early work by Beethoven which is more tuneful and less stormy than his later works.
Beethoven, String Quartet, Op. 59, No. 2: This quartet is famous for the bubbly Russian Folk song included as a theme by way tribute to the Russian count who commissioned the work.
Beethoven, String Quartet, Op. 132: A very late work, Beethoven wrote this piece when he was fatally ill and his despair is apparent between brighter, more hopeful passages.
Dvorak, String Quartet No.12: Dvorak wrote the “American” quartet while on a visit to the United States, and it thus has folksong sound reminiscent of his New World Symphony.
Debussy, String Quartet: A passionate quartet by this French
Ravel, String Quartet : This quartet is elegant and refined, typical of the polished music of Ravel.