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White Hat’s

Top 100 Chamber Music Works

Top 100 Chamber Music Works

White Hat’s Top 100 Chamber Music Works

White Hat’s

Top 100 Chamber Music Works


During 2008, the ABC conducted a survey of its listeners to find their top 100 chamber music which prompted us at White Hat to retrieve our own list which we had made some years earlier.

Firstly we had to set some bounds as to what we would consider as 'chamber music'. There is no hard and fast definition of 'what is chamber music' and nor should there be. However in the end we had to draw some arbitrary lines in the grey area for the purposes of this list. They are not 'right' or wrong' and you are perfectly welcome to come up with different criteria. For music to be included on our Top 100 Chamber Music List we decided it should:

  • Be written for specified instruments. This eliminates certain 'pure theoretical' music such as Bach's Art of Fugue and most Renaissance instrumental music including wonderful works such as Byrd's The Leaves Be Green.

  • Should not contain 'doubling' instruments (multiple instruments playing the same part throughout as in the string section of an orchestra). This alas eliminates some great works such as Mozart's Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments as well the sunny Dvořák Serenade for Winds, Op. 44.

  • Should be music designed to be performed without a conductor. The presence of a conductor takes the music a step further from 'a conversation between equals'. This unfortunately eliminates great works like Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings and Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat.

In the end here is what we came up with one day. The following day the list would probably look different.

  1. Mendelssohn Octet [ABC No.8]
  2. Schubert String Quintet in C, D956 [ABC No.2] - Schubert is one of the few composers who can make time stand still as he does at times in this glorious work.
  3. Bartók String Quartet No.3 [ABC - unlisted]
  4. Ravel Piano Trio [ABC No.29]
  5. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - I know this is often played with multiple string players per line, but Bach almost certainly conceived it as being played either by nine individual string players (with continuo) and would have been happy enough for those parts to be doubled.
  6. Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time [ABC No.22]
  7. Schubert Piano Trio No.2 [ABC No.9]
  8. Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110 [ABC No.19]
  9. Haydn String Quartet in E flat major, op 76 no 6 [ABC - unlisted]
  10. Various The First Book of Consort Lessons (published by Thomas Morley and containing arrangements of works by Dowland and others) - Sophisticated, civilised music beautifully realised for the archetypal English chamber ensemble of instruments of the late Renaissance [ABC - unlisted]
  11. Sculthorpe String Quartet No. 15 with didgeridoo [ABC - unlisted]
  12. Haydn Piano Trio No.25 in G Major 'Gipsy Trio' - This trio ends with a gipsy-inspired finale which is great fun. However it is very simple and very beautiful slow movement which shows what Haydn can produce with very few notes.
  13. Schubert String Quartet in D min 'Death and the Maiden [ABC No.5]
  14. Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A [ABC No.6]
  15. Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 [ABC No.18]
  16. Debussy String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 [ABC No.34]
  17. Bartók String Quartet No.4 [ABC - unlisted]
  18. Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4 (Transfigured Night) [ABC No.65] - This lush late-romantic work is often heard in its adaption for large string orchestra and forms a strong contrast to the somewhat astringent works Schoenberg produced in his later 12 Tone style.
  19. Haydn String Quartet in C major, Hob.III:77 ‘Emperor’ [ABC No.39]
  20. Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 [ABC No.76]
  21. Bach Musikalisches Opfer (Musical Offering), BWV1079 [ABC no.96]
  22. Schubert Quintet for Strings and Piano D. 667 'The Trout' [ABC No.1]
  23. Desmond Take Five [ABC - unlisted] - This piece in 5/4 time is best known from its performance by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
  24. Borodin String Quartet No.2 [ABC No.7]
  25. Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 [ABC No.11]
  26. Janáček String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’ [ABC No.72]
  27. Ravel String Quartet in F major [ABC No.13]
  28. Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 [ABC No.47]
  29. Beethoven Piano Trio No.17 Op.97 'Archduke' [ABC No.4]
  30. César Franck Violin Sonata in A major [ABC No.17]
  31. Ravel Introduction and Allegro [ABC No.53]
  32. Dvořák String Quartet No. 12 'The American' [ABC No.10]
  33. Mozart String Quintet in G minor, KV516 [ABC No.41]
  34. Haydn String Quartet in D major, Hob.III:63 ‘The Lark’ [ABC No.98]
  35. Schubert Notturno [ABC No.3]
  36. Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 [ABC No.14]
  37. Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat major, KV452 {ABC No.45]
  38. Dvořák Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 [ABC No.15]
  39. Schubert Octet in F major, D803 [ABC No.28]
  40. Brahms Horn Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40 [ABC No.44]
  41. Barber String Quartet, Op. 11 [ABC No.56]
  42. Beethoven String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59 ‘Razumovsky’ No. 2 [ABC No.58]
  43. Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 [ABC No.33]
  44. Debussy Sonata for flute, viola and harp [ABC - unlisted]
  45. Beethoven String Quartet in F major, Op. 59 ‘Razumovsky’ No. 1 [ABC No.59]
  46. Beethoven Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20 [ABC No.67]
  47. Beethoven String Quartet in C major, Op. 59 ‘Razumovsky’ No. 3 [ABC No.83]
  48. Rachmaninov Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 [ABC No.100]
  49. Beethoven Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 24 ‘Spring’ [ABC No.12]
  50. Schubert Piano Trio No.1 in B-flat major, D898 [ABC No.16]
  51. Beethoven String Quartet in A minor Op. 132 [ABC No.21]
  52. Piazzola Oblivion [ABC - unlisted]
  53. Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 [ABC No.23]
  54. Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 [ABC No.26]
  55. Beethoven String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 [ABC No.27]
  56. Boccherini Guitar Quintet in D major, G448 [ABC No.35]
  57. Pachelbel Canon in D major [ABC No.37]
  58. Smetana String Quartet No. 1 in E minor ‘From My Life’ [ABC No.52]
  59. Brahms Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18 [ABC No.38]
  60. Nielsen Wind Quintet, Op. 43 [ABC No.91]
  61. Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor Op. 50 ‘A la mémoire d’un grand artiste (In memory of a great artist)’ [ABC No.30]
  62. Dvořák Dumky (Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor), Op. 90 [ABC No.31]
  63. Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8 [ABC No.36]
  64. Fauré Piano Quartet No.1 in C minor, Op. 15 [ABC No.86]
  65. Dvořák Bagatelles, Op. 47 [ABC No.69]
  66. Beethoven String Quartet in E major, Op. 74 ‘Harp’ [ABC No.78]
  67. Poulenc Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano, Op. 100 [ABC No.93]
  68. Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11 [ABC No.32]
  69. Beethoven String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 [ABC No.40]
  70. Smetana Piano Trio in G minor [ABC No.46]
  71. Beethoven String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127 [ABC No.43]
  72. Beethoven Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’ [ABC No.50]
  73. Arensky Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32 {ABC No.48]
  74. Beethoven Grosse Fuge (Great Fugue), Op. 133 [ABC No.49]
  75. Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 [ABC No.54]
  76. Mozart Oboe Quartet in F major, KV370 [ABC No.51]
  77. Schubert Sonata in A minor, D821 ‘Arpeggione’ [ABC No.20]
  78. Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69 [ABC No.57]
  79. Boccherini String Quintet in E major, G275 [ABC No.68]
  80. Mozart Horn Quintet in E-flat major, KV407 [ABC No.88]
  81. Beethoven String Quartet in F major, Op. 135 [ABC No.61]
  82. Mozart String Quartet in B-flat major, KV458 ‘Hunt’ [ABC No.80]
  83. Mozart String Trio in E-flat major, KV563 [ABC No.64]
  84. Beethoven Piano Trio in D major, Op. 70 ‘Ghost’ No. 1 [ABC No.62]
  85. Schubert String Quartet in G major, D887 [ABC No.66]
  86. Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78 {ABC No.71]
  87. Hummel Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 12 [ABC No.70]
  88. Boccherini String Quintet in C major, G324 ‘Night Music from the Streets of Madrid’ [ABC No.79]
  89. Bartók String Quartet No.1 [ABC - unlisted]
  90. Schumann Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47 [ABC No.74]
  91. Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor, KV478 [ABC No.75]
  92. Richard Strauss Violin Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18 [ABC No.81]
  93. Grieg Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45 {ABC No.85]
  94. Dvořák Piano Trio in F minor, Op. 65 [ABC No.95]
  95. Beethoven Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 16 {ABC No.82]
  96. Hummel Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 87 [ABC No.87]
  97. Elgar Salut d’amour, Op. 12 [ABC No.97]
  98. Sibelius String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56 ‘Voces intimae’ [ABC No.99]
  99. Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38 [ABC No.94]
  100. Mozart Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Viola in E-flat major, KV498 ‘Kegelstatt’ {ABC No.84]

Some forthcoming performances of these Top 100 Chamber Music Works:

Selected sheet music of these Top 100 Chamber Music Works:

Cover tiny file look inside Piano Quintet in A, Op. 81 (Set of Parts). Composed by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) and Anton. For Piano, Strings (Parts). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. Simrock #M221100252. Published by Simrock (HL.48018070).
Trio in E minor, Opus 67 look inside Trio in E minor, Opus 67 By Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). Edited by Robert Taub. For violin, cello and piano. 20th Century. Difficulty: difficult. Performance parts. Standard notation and piano accompaniment. Composed 1944. 66 pages. Published by International Music Company (IM.2086)

Smp_stars50 (4) ...more info

Trio look inside Trio (Violin, cello and piano, score). By Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). For Piano Trio. Editions Durand. Impressionistic and 20th Century. Study score. 40 pages. Editions Durand #DR1389500. Published by Editions Durand (HL.50561845)

...more info

The String Quartets of Bela Bartok (Complete) look inside The String Quartets of Bela Bartok (Complete) (Study Score). By Bela Bartok (1881-1945). For Strings (Study Score). Boosey & Hawkes Scores/Books. 20th Century and Hungarian. Miniature study score (hardbound). Analysis. 352 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051210282. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002214)

Smp_stars40 (4) ...more info

Cover tiny file look inside Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44 By Cleveland String Quartet; Emanuel Ax. By Robert Schumann. CD. Published by Sony Music Entertainment (NX.SONY56498).
Cover tiny file look inside Schumann: Piano Quintet, Op. 44 & Piano Quartet, Op. 47 By Stephane De May; Damien Pardoen; Philippe Koch; Pierre-Henri Xuereb; Luc Tooten. By Robert Schumann. Classical. 1 listening CD. Published by Naxos (NX.ADW7577).
String Quartet, Op. 11 look inside String Quartet, Op. 11 (Set of Parts). By Samuel Barber (1910-1981). String quartet. For Cello, Viola, Violin, String Quartet. String. 20th Century. Set of performance parts. 8 pages. G. Schirmer #OR40275. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.50341730)

Smp_stars50 (1) ...more info

Cover tiny file look inside String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110 Parts. Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). DSCH. Set of performance parts. 66 pages. Published by DSCH (HL.50484253).
Cover tiny file look inside String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110 Set of Parts. Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). String. 20th century. Set of performance parts. 20 pages. Sikorski #SIK2140. Published by Sikorski (HL.50156220).

 

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