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With Strings, Four Is Anything But A Crowd

For Haydn's birthday, WFIU wants to know your favorite string quartet.

fiber quartet

Photo: Luis and Clark

Whether it's fiberglass or rosewood, the sweet sounds of the string quartet live on.

The so-called “Father of the String Quartet” was born on March 31, 1732.. But Joseph Haydn didn’t set about trying to change the music world. He just found himself in a unique situation.

Isolated from much of the rest of the musical world, Haydn’s duties to the Esterházy family allowed him to experiment and push the envelope of compositional techniques. He later remembered, “I was cut off from the world. There was no one in my vicinity to make me unsure of myself or to persecute me, and so I had to become original.”

It wasn’t uncommon to hear the combination of two violins, viola and cello. It’s just that no one had concentrated on it like Haydn.

To celebrate Haydn’s 279th birthday, WFIU will be highlighting the string quartet throughout our classical music on Thursday at 9am, 10am, 7pm, and 10pm-Midnight.

What Do You Think?

We want to hear from you. What’s your favorite string quartet? Or which quartet (ensemble) do you rank #1?

We’ll be selecting the best responses to read during our classical programming on Thursday.

To whet your appetite, here’s a little quartet humor from Haydn:

 

David Wood

Originally from Leavenworth, Kansas, David Wood moved to Bloomington in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Music from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas. He studied ensemble direction at the Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute and joined WFIU in 2006 as an announcer. In 2008 he became WFIU's Music Director and also served as Art Bureau Chief from 2008-2013. David’s interests include Irish music and language (particularly traditional singing), music and religion, running, the outdoors, and, of course, classical music!

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  • Guest

    My two favorite string quartets are:

    1. Beethoven op. 131. Seven movements, totally epic. One of the greatest pieces of music, period.

    2. Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite which is a 12-tone work of pure poetry. A beautiful piece celebrating the joys of adultery. Berg included a secret reference to his mistress Hanna Fuchs-Robettin in the musical motive [A-B-H-F]. Hot stuff!

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