A string quintet is a musical composition for five string players. As an extension to the string quartet (two violins, a viola, and a cello), a string quintet includes a fifth string instrument, usually a second viola (a so-called "viola quintet") or a second cello (a "cello quintet"), or occasionally a double bass.
The most famous cello quintet is Franz Schubert's Quintet in C major. Antonín Dvořák's Quintet Op. 77 uses a double bass, and Mozart's famous Eine kleine Nachtmusik may be performed with this instrumentation (the double bass being optional).
Alternative additions include clarinet or piano (see clarinet quintet, piano quintet); and other closely related chamber music genres include the string quartet (much more common), the string trio, and the string sextet. A more unusual form of string quintet is the violin quintet composed of 3 violins, a viola and a cello (thus a string quartet with an additional violin). In some cases, the first violin has a soloist role, and such works may be labeled as "for violin and string quartet".
The term string quintet may refer to a group of five players that performs such works. It can also be applied to the standard five-part orchestral string section: first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.
List of viola quintets
- Arnold Bax – one Viola Quintet (1933)
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Viola Quintet, Op. 29, sometimes called the Storm Quintet; a Fugue in D major for viola quintet, Op. 137; an arrangement of his Octet for Viola Quintet, Op. 4 (the original Octet was later published as Op.103); an arrangement of his Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 3 for Viola Quintet, Op. 104
- Luigi Boccherini – twelve original Viola Quintets, arrangements of all twelve of his Piano Quintets (Op.56 and Op.57) for Viola Quintet.
- Johannes Brahms – two Viola Quintets, Op. 88 and Op. 111; the Clarinet Quintet Op. 115 may be performed with a viola substituting for the clarinet
- Max Bruch – one Viola Quintet in A minor
- Anton Bruckner – String Quintet in F major (1879); Intermezzo in D minor (substitute for the scherzo)
- Antonín Dvořák – two Viola Quintets, Op.1 in A minor and Op. 97 in E♭ (the American Quintet)
- Victor Ewald – a Viola Quintet Op. 4 in A major
- Eduard Franck – two Viola Quintets, Op. 15 in E minor and Op. 51 in C Major
- Friedrich Gernsheim – a Viola Quintet Op. 9 in D
- Roy Harris – one Viola Quintet (1940)
- Heinrich von Herzogenberg – Viola Quintet in C minor, Op.77 (1892)
- Heinrich Kaminski – one Viola Quintet in F♯ minor (two versions, first 1916)
- Franz Krommer – fifteen String Quintets
- Bohuslav Martinů – one Viola Quintet (1927)
- Felix Mendelssohn – two Viola Quintets: No. 1 in A major, Op. 18 (1826, revised 1832) and No. 2 in B-flat major, Op.87 (1845)
- Ernst Mielck – Viola Quintet in F major (1897)
- Darius Milhaud – one Viola Quintet Op. 325
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – six Viola Quintets: K174, K406/516b, K515, K516, K593, K614
- Carl Nielsen – one Viola Quintet in G major (1888)
- George Onslow – five out of his thirty-four Quintets are with two violas; four are with double bass and the rest with two cellos (see below)
- Hubert Parry – One Viola Quintet in E flat (1909) (Published by Chiltern Music in 1992)
- George Perle – Quintet for Strings (Perle) (1958)
- Josef Rheinberger – One Viola Quintet in A minor, Op. 82 (1874) (Carus-Verlag)
- Ferdinand Ries – Seven Viola Quintets, op. 37 in C, Op. 68 in D minor, Op. 167 in A minor, Op. 171 in G, Op. 183 in E-flat, and two published without opus in A major and F minor (published in a series "Samtliche Streichquintette" edited by Jürgen Schmidt between 2003-5 for Accolade Musikverlag.)
- Franz Schubert – "Quintet-Overture" for Viola Quintet, D 8
- Roger Sessions – one Viola Quintet (1958)
- Robert Simpson – one Viola Quintet (1987)
- Louis Spohr – seven Viola Quintets
- Charles Villiers Stanford – Two Viola Quintets
- Johan Svendsen – one Viola Quintet in C, Op. 5 (1868)
- Sergei Taneyev – one Viola Quintet in C, Op. 16
- Ralph Vaughan Williams – one Viola Quintet (the Phantasy Quintet – 1912) and Nocturne and Scherzo (1904-1906)
- Felix Weingartner – one Viola Quintet, his Op. 40
- John Woolrich – The Death of King Renaud (1991)
- Alexander von Zemlinsky – one Viola Quintet (1894–1896): 2 movements are lost
List of cello quintets
- Arnold Bax – one Cello Quintet in G major (1908), whose second movement was rescored by the composer for Viola Quintet and published as the Lyrical Interlude (1923);
- Ludwig van Beethoven – an arrangement of his Violin Sonata in A, Op. 47, Kreutzer for Cello Quintet
- Wilhelm Berger – one Cello Quintet in E minor, Op. 75 (1911)
- Luigi Boccherini – one hundred ten Cello Quintets. The third movement Minuet of the Cello Quintet Op.11 No.5 is extremely well known.
- Alexander Borodin – one Cello Quintet in F minor
- Luigi Cherubini – one Cello Quintet: Quintet in E minor (1837)
- Felix Otto Dessoff – one Cello Quintet, Op. 10
- Friedrich Dotzauer – Cello Quintet in D minor, Op. 134 (1835)
- Felix Draeseke – one Cello Quintet in F, Op. 77 (1901)
- Friedrich Gernsheim – Cello Quintet Op. 89 in E♭
- Alexander Glazunov – one Cello Quintet in A, Op. 39
- Karl Goldmark – one Cello Quintet in A minor, Op. 9 (1862)
- August Klughardt – Cello Quintet in G minor, Op. 62 (1902)
- Frank Martin – Pavane couleur du temps (Colour of weather Pavane), 1920, 7', For cello quintet.
- Darius Milhaud – one Cello Quintet Op. 350
- George Onslow – twenty-five of his thirty-four string quintets are Cello Quintets; five are with two violas and four are with double bass
- Einojuhani Rautavaara – One Cello Quintet Unknown Heavens (1997)
- Ottorino Respighi – one Cello Quintet in G minor (1901, incomplete)
- George Rochberg – Quintet for Two Violins, Viola and Two Cellos (1982)
- Franz Schubert – one Cello Quintet, Op. post. 163, D 956
- Peter Seabourne – Quintet for Two Violins, Viola and Two Cellos (2012)
- Robert Simpson – one Cello Quintet (1995)
- Ethel Smyth – one Cello Quintet in E major, Op. 1
- Sergei Taneyev – one Cello Quintet in G, Op. 14
- Ferdinand Thieriot – several Cello Quintets.
- Carl Vine – String Quintet (2009)
String quintets for 3 violins, viola and cello
- Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, string quintet (1798)
- Franz Clement, Introduction and Polonaise in E major (Polonaise für die Violine mit Begleitung von 2 Violinen, Viola und Violonzello)
- Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, Polonaise, Op.17
- Kamillo Horn (1860-1941), string quintet, op. 50
- Charles Martin Loeffler – one Violin Quintet (three violins, viola and cello)
- Joseph Mayseder, Polonaise No.1, Op.10; Polonaise No.3, Op.12
- Franz Anton Morgenroth (1780-1847), Variations for Violin and String Quartet, Op.4
- Alessandro Rolla, Divertimento for Violin and String Quartet, BI 429
- Franz Schubert, Rondo in A major for Violin and Strings, D 438
- Louis Spohr, Potpourri No.2 in B♭ major (Potpourri on themes by Mozart for violin and string quartet (with bass ad libitum))
List of double bass quintets
- Leslie Bassett – double bass quintet (1957)
- Luigi Boccherini – three Double Bass Quintets.
- Antonín Dvořák – Double Bass Quintet Op. 77 in G
- Alistair Hinton – String Quintet (1969–77)
- Vagn Holmboe – one String Bass Quintet, Op. 165/M.326 (1986)
- Darius Milhaud – one Double Bass Quintet Op. 316
- George Onslow – four out of his thirty-four String Quintets are with double bass; five with two violas and the rest with two cellos
String quintets for other combinations
- Felix Draeseke – one Quintet in A for Two Violins, Viola, Violotta, and Cello (the Stelzner-Quintett; 1897) ; one Cello Quintet in F, Op. 77 (1901)
Works making use of a string quintet
- Myers, Herbert W. (2000). "When Is a Violino Not a Viola da Braccio?" The Galpin Society Journal 53, 335–39.
- Parlett, David. "Catalog of music by Bax (1930-1939)". Retrieved 2007-12-20.
-  Archived September 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Merton Catalog". Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- "Frank Martin Worklist". Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- NY Public Library reference[dead link]