Though Franz Joseph Haydn did not "invent" the string quartet, he is often considered the "Father of the String Quartet" because of his huge contribution to the genre. Within this medium, he was extremely prolific; 83 works for quartet are attributed to him. Some of those pieces have, in recent years, been deemed spurious by scholars (i.e., they may possibly be the work of other composers), but the body of compositions believed to be Haydn's is still quite large. Not only did he compose a great quantity of quartets, but the quality of those pieces is very high - setting such a standard for this type of composition that later composers, including Mozart and Beethoven, would pattern their quartets on his, striving for their exquisite beauty and perfection.
Haydn's String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3, Hob. III:77, is also known as the "Emperor" quartet (or "Kaiser" in German), and is one of his most famous and beloved works for string quartet. The name comes from the sublime second movement, in which Haydn quotes an anthem he composed for Emperor Francis II, the last ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. The melody is quite famous, and later became the German national anthem - a post it still holds today.
This edition contains parts for two violins, viola, and cello, and is edited by Simon Rowland-Jones. Published by Edition Peters.
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