String Quartets (Schumann)

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The three string quartets by Robert Schumann were composed in 1842. They are:

  • String Quartet No. 1, Op. 41 No. 1 in A minor
  • String Quartet No. 2, Op. 41 No. 2 in F
  • String Quartet No. 3, Op. 41 No. 3 in A

Background and first performance[edit]

The quartets Op. 41 are Schumann's only string quartets, and were composed after studying the quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He had sketched some ideas for quartets a few years before 1842, but they had been abandoned; in February of that year he considered again writing quartets.[1][2]

Because of depression he was unable to compose for a period; eventually on 4 June he started work on the first quartet, and he finished the third quartet on 22 June. They were first performed on 13 September, as a present for his wife Clara on her 23rd birthday.[1][2]

They were first published in 1843 by Breitkopf & Härtel, and dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn.[3][4][5]


String Quartet No. 1[edit]

  1. Andante espressivo — Allegro
  2. Scherzo: Presto
  3. Adagio
  4. Allegro

String Quartet No. 2[edit]

  1. Allegro vivace
  2. Andante quasi variazioni
  3. Scherzo: Presto
  4. Finale: Allegro molto vivace

String Quartet No. 3[edit]

  1. Andante espressivo — Allegro molto moderato
  2. Assai agitato
  3. Adagio molto
  4. Finale: Allegro molto vivace


  1. ^ a b String Quartet No. 1 Op. 41, Robert Schumann LA Phil, accessed 5 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b Peter F. Ostwald, Schumann: the inner voices of a musical genius. UPNE, 1987. Page 173.
  3. ^ Schumann String Quartet No. 1: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  4. ^ Schumann String Quartet No. 2: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  5. ^ Schumann String Quartet No. 3: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)