Piano quintet

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In European classical music, a piano quintet is a work of chamber music written for piano and four other instruments, most commonly piano, two violins, viola, and cello (i.e., piano and string quartet). Among the most frequently performed piano quintets are those by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, César Franck, Antonín Dvořák and Dmitri Shostakovich. Franz Schubert's celebrated "Trout" quintet is a piano quintet scored for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. The genre is closely associated with Romanticism.[1] la la la

Classical roots of the piano quintet[edit]

While the genres of the piano trio and piano quartet were firmly established in the eighteenth century by Mozart and others, the piano quintet did not come into its own as a genre until the nineteenth century.[2] Its roots extend into the late Classical period, when piano concertos were sometimes transcribed for piano with string quartet accompaniment.[3] However, not before the mid-nineteenth century was music commonly composed expressly for this combination of instruments. Although such classical composers as Dussek and Boccherini wrote quintets for piano and string quartet, more commonly, a piano would be joined by violin, viola, cello and double bass. As the double bass would generally double the bass line in the piano part, such works were in effect piano quartets with basso continuo. Schubert's "Trout" Quintet (1819) is written for this combination of forces, as are the quintets of Hummel (1802), Ferdinand Ries (1809), and Farrenc (1839, 1840).[4][5]

The Romantic piano quintet[edit]

Robert Schumann, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, in 1839, three years before the composition of his piano quintet.

Not until the middle of the 19th century did Robert Schumann's Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major (1842) firmly established the quintet for piano and string quartet as a significant, and quintessentially Romantic, chamber music genre.[6]

By 1842, the string quartet had evolved into the most important chamber music ensemble, and advances in the design of the piano had expanded its power and dynamic range. Bringing the piano and string quartet together, Schumann's Piano Quintet took full advantage of the expressive possibilities of these forces in combination, alternating conversational passages between the five instruments with concertante passages in which the combined forces of the strings are massed against the piano. In Schumann's hands, the piano quintet became a genre "suspended between private and public spheres" alternating between "quasi-symphonic and more properly chamber-like elements."[7]

Schumann's quintet was immediately acclaimed and widely imitated.[1][8] Johannes Brahms was persuaded by Schumann's widow Clara to rework a sonata for two pianos as a piano quintet. The result, Brahms' Piano Quintet in F Minor (1864), has been called a masterpiece of the genre. [9] Piano quintets by Louis Spohr, Franz Berwald, Joachim Raff, Alexander Borodin, César Franck and perhaps most notably Antonín Dvořák further solidifed the genre as a quintessential "vehicle for Romantic expression."[1]

Twentieth Century[edit]

In the first half of the twentieth-century, the piano quintet attracted composers with strong roots in Romanticism, including Gabriel Fauré, Edward Elgar and Dmitri Shostakovich, all of whom composed noteworthy works in the genre. However, while the string quartet remained a central genre for the twentieth-century avant-garde, the piano quintet came to acquire "a somewhat conservative profile, far from major developments" in musical expression.[10]

List of compositions for piano quintet[edit]

The following is a partial list of compositions for piano quintet. All works are scored for piano and string quartet unless otherwise noted.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Stowell, Robin. The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, p. 324. Invalid <ref> tag; name "Stowell324" defined multiple times with different content
  2. ^ The quintets for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon composed by Mozart and Beethoven are usually described as "quintets for piano and winds" so as to distinguish them from compositions for piano and four strings.
  3. ^ Randel, Don Michael, The Harvard Dictionary of Music, p. 699.
  4. ^ Smallman, Basil The Piano Quartet and Quintet: Style, Structure, and Scoring , p. 3.
  5. ^ Smallman, Basil. The Piano Quartet and Quintet: Style, Structure, and Scoring, p. 26.
  6. ^ Stowell, Robin The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, pp. 323-324.
  7. ^ John Daverio, 'Robert Schumann: Herald of a "New Poetic Age."' (1997, Oxford), p. 256
  8. ^ Smallman, Basil. The Piano Quartet and Quintet: Style, Structure, and Scoring, p. 53.
  9. ^ [1] Rodda, Richard E. "Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34," n.p.
  10. ^ Stowell, Robin. The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, p. 325.
  11. ^ "ARENSKI Anton Stéphanovitch Suites pour piano n°1 à 5". abeillemusique.com. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Bacewicz Worklist". Polish Music Information Center. 1998–2003. Retrieved 6 August 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)
  13. ^ Trevor Bray (24 June 1965). "Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief ~ Appendix 3: List of Works: 122". Trevor-bray-music-research.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  14. ^ "FURTWANGLER Piano Quintet [RB]: Classical Reviews- Aug 2002 MusicWeb(UK)". Musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  15. ^ "Goldmark Quintets". Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  16. ^ Alan Rawsthorne: A Bio-Bibliography at Google Books. p. 33.
  17. ^ Rochberg, George; Gene Rochberg. Five Lines, Four Spaces: The World of My Music at Google Books. p. 111.
  18. ^ "Description Page - Sgambati First Piano Quintet". Edition Silvertrust. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  19. ^ "Description Page - Stanford Piano Quintet". Edition Silvertrust. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  20. ^ "Description of Disc with Both of Thuille's Quintets". Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  21. ^ "Description Page - Thuille Piano Quintet in E flat". Edition Silvertrust. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  22. ^ IMSLP

Further reading[edit]

  • Basil Smallman (1994) The Piano Quartet and Quintet: Style Structure, and Scoring, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816640-0.

External links[edit]

br:Pempad piano