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String Quartet No. 3 in C minor


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My third Opus 2 quartet, it's particularly influenced by Haydn in the first and third movements. I wrote this back in September of 2017. I always appreciated feedback, so don't hesitate!

Sorry about the trills in the third movement, Musescore's trills are not so good.


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I agree, it's quite nice harmonically, there's very little that sounds 'wrong' to me. My issue is that it doesn't really do anything all that interesting. It doesn't tend to modulate, or go on journeys. I think bar 31 of the minuet was the first bar that really stood out colour-wise because of your harmonic choices. To be honest, I probably wouldn't enjoy an actual Haydn quartet all that much, so maybe I'm not the best judge here, but I would very much encourage you to start branching out and experimenting with the harmonies and structures of later periods, because you clearly have a very good foundation. Perhaps play around with sonata form.

One harmony that stood out in a bad way was the F in the cello in bar 12 of the adagio. I'm not sure exactly why it sounds out of place, but for me, leaving out the F and just going Bb for a crotchet, then leaping up to the other Bb would work better there. Bar 37 of the adagio also felt slightly off, probably because of the Ab in the second violin part.

The finale definitely felt the most 'fun' for me, and I think that's where you really started to play around a little with appoggiaturas and a little more experimental harmony. Keep going in that direction! I will also say though that the ending didn't feel satisfying, like it arrived too soon without a conclusive finish.

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Nicely done. You have clearly studied the Galant Style and the early Viennese Classic. One thing to consider for a string quartet how to make it interesting for all four players. It is a very intimate setting that requires great skill to balance the voices. You should think of the poor viola player who often has a very reduced supporting role. Perhaps you could lighten the burden of the two violin players and give the cello and viola a bit more to do. 

As @johnbucket hints at, there is also some room for improvement. E.g. in the menuetto, it would be nice if it modulated from c minor to either Es Major or g minor to add some tension at the end of the first strain, and then back to c minor before the trio. The tonal contrast of the trio is very nice, btw. Alas, I lack the time to comment your piece more thoroughly, but I hope this helps a bit.

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