Iowa Alumni Magazine | August 2013 | Features

Elizabeth Oakes' favorite string quartets:

By kathryn Howe

Joseph Haydn—string quartet in B flat Major, Op. 76, No. 4 "Sunrise."

Ludwig Van Beethoven—any of the late quartets. Op. 127 through Op. 135. For a wonderful introduction to these masterpieces, Quartet in A minor, Op. 132.

Antonín Dvořák—string quartet in F Major, Op. 96 "American" (written in Spillville, Iowa, while during a visit to the United States).

Franz Schubert—string quintet in C major, D956 (this piece adds an extra cello to the string quartet to create one of the most glorious works in the chamber music repertoire).

Maurice Ravel—string quartet in F Major.

Béla Bartók—string quartet No. 4.

To hear great examples of what contemporary composers are doing with the medium, try:

John Corigliano—string quartet No. 1

Ned Rorem—string quartet No. 4.