String Quartet No. 13 (Dvořák)

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Antonín Dvořák composed his String Quartet No. 13 in G major, Op. 106, (B. 192), between November and December 9, 1895. 1895 was an eventful year for him: he returned to Europe from America and his sister-in-law and first love both died. Upon finishing the String Quartet No. 13 in G major, he took back up his fourteenth in A-flat major, which he had begun before this quartet and finished it on December 30 of that year. The fourteenth quartet was published with the opus number 105.


The string quartet contains four movements and lasts around 35 minutes. The movements are as follows:

  • Allegro moderato in G major and 2/4 time
  • Adagio ma non troppo in E-flat major and 3/8 time
  • Molto vivace in B minor and 3/4 time, more like a rondo with episodes in A flat major and D major for trios than a typical scherzo, as is more often found in this place in a string quartet in the Romantic music era.
  • Finale. Andante sostenuto – Allegro con fuoco The brief Andante sostenuto is in 4/4 "common" time, introduces a finale in 2/4 time, and interrupts it toward the end of the work. The finale is in the work's main key of G major.
Andante sostenuto opening to the quartet's finale

(Dvořák's works have a confusing history of conflicting opus numbers, and so Jarmil Burghauser catalogued them more consistently in his book Antonín Dvořák; thematický katalog, bibliografie, přehled života a díla. (or, Antonín Dvořák: Thematic Catalog, Bibliography, Life and Work, first published in 1960. It is because of this that Antonín Dvořák's compositions have Burghauser numbers used sometimes to identify them, with 192 used for this quartet.


  • Notes to the Chilingirian Quartet recording of the Quartet, made in 1991 (Chandos 8874)
  • Dvořák, Antonín. Five Late String Quartets. New York: Dover Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-486-25135-7. Reprint of N. Simrock of Berlin publications - string quartets nos. 10–14 originally published 1879-96.

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