The music world associates Verdi’s name so obviously with his operatic output that his contributions to other genres can easily be overlooked. His only chamber work owes its existence to an enforced break in Naples in spring 1873, when opera rehearsals had had to be postponed. To the astonishment of those around him, Verdi used the time to write a string quartet. Despite clearly orienting himself around the quartets of Viennese Classicism, Verdi succeeds here in making an independent and ingenious contribution to the genre. With its many melodic, harmonic and contrapuntal subtleties it leaves no doubt as to its author’s elevated compositional intentions.
This Henle Urtext edition is based on the Italian first edition, though important secondary sources such as the autograph score and the French first edition have also been consulted.