Book Series Speculum musicae, vol. 27

The String Quartet

From the Private to the Public Sphere

Christian Speck (ed)

  • Pages: 388 p.
  • Size:210 x 270 mm
  • Illustrations:91 b/w
  • Language(s):English, German
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56800-3
  • Hardback
  • Available

The volume approaches the history and growing prestige of the string quartet from 1750 to 1850.


“(…) the book will undoubtedly assume a position of importance in the future study of the string quartet.” (Andrew Justice, in Fontis Artis Musicae, 64/2, 2017, p. 202)


Christian Speck is Professor of Musicology at Universität Koblenz-Landau, Koblenz, Germany. His broad and diverse interests encompass the traditions of the First Viennese School of Composition, Boccherini, and the Baroque oratorio. This range of research interests  is reflected in Speck’s numerous books, scholarly articles, Festschriften, conference papers and collections of essays, as well as contributions to the New Grove Dictionary and MGG. He is President of the Italian National Edition of Boccherini’s Complete Works.


The String Quartet: From the Private to the Public Sphere approaches the history and growing prestige of the string quartet from the time of its emergence, in circa 1750, until the middle of the nineteenth century. The volume explores the historical, historiographical and biographical facets of the genre’s increasing dominance and ultimate supremacy. Various geographical regions of string-quartet production are encompassed, including Austria, Spain, Italy and Great Britain. Specific issues raised by individual contributions include the concepts of ‘late style’; notions of sophistication, comprehensibility and popularity; repertoires and the dissemination of manuscript parts and editions; theoretical writing on the string quartet and concert programming. Several contributions include analytical studies of string quartets by ‘classical’ composers, such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; others approach equivalent works by less canonical composers, including Luigi Boccherini, Gregorio Ballabene, Samuel Wesley and Feliks Janiewicz.


Christian Speck

String Quartets in the Private Sphere

Cliff Eisen
Mozart’s Later Chamber Music for Strings and the Idea of ‘Late Style’
Walter Kurt Kreyszig
«Mit Haydn beginnt die Musik eine neue Zeitrechnung». Zur Verknüpfung von stile antico, fugierter Schreibart, stile galante und freierem Stil in den Finalsätzen von Franz Joseph Haydns Op. 20/2, Op. 20/5 und Op. 20/6 (1772)
Balázs Mikusi
Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Collection

The Dialectics of Private and Public

Christian Speck
Vocal and Instrumental Idioms in the Variation Movement of Haydn’s Emperor Quartet, Op. 76 No. 3
Christian Speck
Haydn’s Emperor Quartet, Op. 76 No. 3, and the Public Spheres in London and Vienna
Nancy November
From Private To Public To Private? On the Aesthetics and Reception of Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95
Anne M. Hyland
In What Respect Monumental? Schubert’s Quartettsatz and the Dialectics of Private and Public

String Quartets in the Public Sphere

Simon McVeigh
The Prince of Wales, Giardini and Pleyel: Searching for the Source of the Public String Quartet in London Concert Life
Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald
Works for String Quartet by Samuel Wesley (1766-1837): A Preliminary Overview
Warwick Lister
Feliks Janiewicz and the String Quartet in Great Britain, 1810-1830
Stephen Husarik
Gluck’s Theme and the Surrender of Ornamentation to the Countersubjects in Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, Opus 133

String Quartet Repertoires

Michaela Freemanová
String Quartet Repertoire in the Late 18th- and 19th-Century Bohemia: Collections of Bohemian Nobility and Religious Orders, Productions of Music Societies and Schools, Dissemination at Home and Abroad
Stephanie Klauk
Streichquartettpflege in Rom in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Das Repertoire der Adelsfamilien Doria-Pamphilj und Compagnoni Marefoschi

The Comparative View, or: Historiographical Challenges

Rainer Kleinertz
Streichquartette von Joseph Haydn und Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart im Spiegel der Sonatentheorie Francesco Galeazzis
Lolita Fuermane
Boccherini und Haydn als zwei Arttendenzen im frühen Streichquartett
Christiane Heine
Streichquartettkomposition in Spanien im 19. Jahrhundert. Eine inexistente Gattungsgeschichte?

Index of Names