Igor Stravinsky

Pieces (3) for string quartet

    Description by Alexander Carpenter

    Stravinsky completed his Three Pieces for string quartet in 1914, though they were not published until 1922. In the 1920s these pieces were not well received by critics, who were unable make sense of this fragmentary, seemingly incoherent music. Though they bear no titles, tempi, or expression markings, the pieces are actually character pieces of a sort. As musicologist Eric White notes, Stravinsky intended them as studies in "popular, fantastic, and liturgical moods." The music is difficult to play, as Stravinsky's score calls for some extreme effects from the players; the rhythmic vivacity and a certain disjunctness add a further element of challenge.

    Stravinsky included orchestrations of the Three Pieces as part of the Four Studies for orchestra (ca. 1929), adding the titles "Dance," "Eccentric," and "Canticle." Further, Stravinsky used parts of the Three Pieces as themes or motives in other works, including the Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920), the Symphony of Psalms (1930), and the Symphony in C (1939-1940).

    Parts/Movements

    1. No. 1
    2. No. 2
    3. No. 3

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Divine Art MSVCD 92105
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music France 4811510
    2015 MSR Classics MS 1537
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon B002398272
    2015 Tacet TACET 216CD
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Praga PRDDSD 350057
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908520
    2011 Naim 24
    2010 EMI Classics 965939
    2009 Naim 74
    2009 Warner Classics
    2008 EMI Classics 13974
    2008 EMI Music Distribution 5675502
    2008 Vox 5071
    2007 Apex
    2006 Arte Nova 770690
    2006 Wigmore Hall Live 12
    2006 New Classical Adventure 9508812
    2006 Accord 4768862
    2006 Universal Music
    2006 Bridge 9202
    2005 Rca Red Seal 64283
    2003 Apex 7498152
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 67551
    2000 Silva America SILKD 6701
    2000 Naxos 554315
    2000 DG Deutsche Grammophon 453 458-2GH
    1998 Koch Classics 316512
    1997 Testament 1123
    1996 Praga PR250 073
    1995 Dorian DOR90203
    1995 Erato 98955
    1995 Conifer 51252
    1995 ASV 930
    1992 Chandos 6535
    MDG 6131333
    Silva America 60012
    EMI Music Distribution 54347
    Ades 20351