Reconstructing the Viennese String Quartet, 1818-1830: Composers, Contexts and Analytical Perspectives

    Project Details


    This project focused on constructing an alternative history of the Viennese string quartet between 1818 and 1830.

    These years witnessed the genre's burgeoning: 1808 marked the foundation of the first professional string quartet, and the genre's continued vitality in Vienna was ensured by the presence of the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh until 1830. During this period, quartets were performed in public either at the Abendunterhaltungen of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, or at Schuppanzigh's subscription series.

    Despite the considerable influence of the Viennese string quartet on subsequent music history, virtually nothing is known about the repertoire performed at these concerts outside of the 'Classical' masterworks of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. This research fills the gap in our knowledge by reconstructing a forgotten side of that history. It speaks to a far more diverse musical corpus than hitherto acknowledged. It therefore challenges the Beethoven-centric account prominent in the literature, and simultaneously invites new ways of interpreting the canonical works of the time.

    Funding body
    : British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants
    Short titleR:HAP Hyland BA Small Grant
    Effective start/end date10/10/169/08/18


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