Like Bartók's fourth quartet, the String Quartet No. 5 is composed in arch form, a symmetric structure in which themes recur in inverted or reversed form. Other characteristics of this work are unusual time signatures in the inner movements, bleak melodies, and dissonant chords. The work was commissioned by American pianist and chamber music patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.
This edition contains parts for two violins, viola, and cello (no score). Published by Boosey & Hawkes.
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