A string quartet
, simply, is a composition
solo string instruments
, most commonly two violin
s, a viola
and a cello
was perhaps the first to popularize the quartet, as well as establishing a four movement structure.
equalled Haydn in compositional finesse and creativity, but it was, arguably, Beethoven
's works which truly defined the concept and the style. His late string quartets are (still) considered by various musicians, critics and even laymen to be the most beautiful, complex, intriguing pieces of music ever written.
His late works, opus
#127, #130, #131, #132 and #135, all show vast contrapunctal
variety - seen previously in Bach
's work - and a huge range of texture, creativity and compositorial excellence.
I recommedend you find the string quartet opus 130, stick it in whatever machine you own and blow your mind