Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
String Quartet seating!
Last post Fri, Jun 23 2017 by Jos Wylin, 19 replies.
Options
Go to last post
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 17:53
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2371
What's the usual or normal seating position for a string quartet - looking at the stage from an audience perspective? I've forgotten and I haven't seen one on tv or live for years.
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 19:50
by jamriding
Joined on Thu, Mar 31 2005, U.K., Posts 259
I thought it was (from left to right) Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola and 'Cello (or have things progressed recently?).

Having said that, I haven't been to a string quartet performance for over 30 years...
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 20:05
by JBacal
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Posts 1209
Sometimes I think it can also be violin1, viola ,cello, violin 2. Hopefully DG will weigh in as I'm sure he's played in his share of quartets.

Best,
Jay
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 20:17
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
JBacal wrote:
Sometimes I think it can also be violin1, viola ,cello, violin 2. Hopefully DG will weigh in as I'm sure he's played in his share of quartets.

Best,
Jay

I've always done the Vln1, Vln2, Vla, Cello from left to right.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 20:27
by JBacal
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Posts 1209
Here are a number of pics showing vl1,vl2,cello, viola

http://www.clintonstringquartet.com/images/csq_photo.jpg

http://www.pereportaconcerts.com/imatges/Fotos/Leipzig%20String%20Quartet2.jpg

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/rvp/pubaf/chronicle/v8/f3/hawthorne.gif

Not sure how common this seating is.

Best,
Jay
Posted on Fri, Sep 22 2006 22:57
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2371
Excellent. Well done lads.

Big Smile

I've just nearly completed a string quartet thing - and it sounds like all the players are extremely drunk. That's crazy, because the piano part seemed to work and now I'll have rename this to Dorset Cider Party or something like that.
Posted on Sat, Sep 23 2006 07:41
by mathis
Joined on Sat, Feb 07 2004, Munich, Germany, Posts 1137
Over here, I see a lot vln1, vla, cl, vln2
Posted on Sat, Sep 23 2006 16:41
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5704
A drunken String Quartet? I am eager to hear it. However, do I also need to imbibe, and should it be before listening, or after?
Posted on Sat, Sep 23 2006 16:47
by jamriding
Joined on Thu, Mar 31 2005, U.K., Posts 259
William wrote:
A drunken String Quartet? I am eager to hear it. However, do I also need to imbibe, and should it be before listening, or after?


Imbibe before, during AND after, probably...

Stick out tongue
Posted on Sat, Sep 23 2006 18:09
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2371
Sorry gentlemen - tough day today. I'll talk to you all soon.
Posted on Tue, Oct 24 2006 07:59
by Cutler
Joined on Tue, Oct 24 2006, Bath, England, Posts 52
I don't think there is any hard and fast rule about String Quartet seating. A lot of it is really down to the preference of an individual quartet and how they communicate with each other. I am a big String Quartet fan (in fact a total obsessive), and I have noted that over the years German/Austrian quartets do seem to favour the V1, Va, Cl, V2 seating where as French/British quartets seem more comfortable with V1, V2, Va, Cl. But it is NOT a rule and there are plenty of exceptions.

From a recording point of view, I think there is much to commend the German approach. And if you've never tried it, it is well worth experimenting with, I find the result more naturally balanced - but it is most definitely a matter of personal taste, since I have some friends (string players) who absolutely loathe the idea!

The Takacs Quartet usually perform in the V1, Va, Cl, V2 arrangement, and their Beethoven cycle is breath-taking.
Posted on Tue, Oct 24 2006 21:15
by mech289
Joined on Sat, Mar 05 2005, Ft. Lauderdale, Posts 109
Paul sure It sounds better then my music.. Yours are drunk.. Mine sounds like there dead.. Figure that one out...Joseph
Posted on Mon, Nov 20 2006 23:07
by Jonny Mantle
Joined on Sat, Jan 29 2005, Posts 37
I recently did a short string quartet for a song I wrote. It actually became a quintet technically because I added another cello later on to provide a percussive/rhythm part with détaché. I actually got quite a nice tone by (L-R) Détaché Cello, V1, Viol, Cello, V2.

I did have a piano and vocal in it too and had the left (bass) hand panned slightly left and the right hand part panned slightly right. So that might have helped it work a little.
Carillon Core 1 PC running Nuendo, Giga Studio (Orchestra Edition) and Orchestral Cube.
Posted on Mon, Nov 20 2006 23:16
by Jonny Mantle
Joined on Sat, Jan 29 2005, Posts 37
My mistake, it was V1, D-Cello, Viol, Cello, V2. Got the first two the wrong way round.
Carillon Core 1 PC running Nuendo, Giga Studio (Orchestra Edition) and Orchestral Cube.
Posted on Mon, Jan 22 2007 09:54
by Klaus
Joined on Tue, Oct 22 2002, Munich, Germany, Posts 17
Well - doesnt it depend on what they are playing? In baroque (really polyphical) music it just makes more sense to have V1-Vla-Cl-V2. For the audience it is easier to distinguish the different lines of V1 and V2 if they are not sitting too close. If the music is more like classical V1-V2-Vla-Cl makes more sense. I also think that this is also true for chamber- or big orchestras. And this was also common in the baroque or classical time - so far as i know. But with a small section like a string-quartett it is also important that the musicians play as they are used to. But i would always ask them for baroque-style-music to sit V1-Vla-Cl-V2.
Posted on Mon, Jun 19 2017 11:51
by jcandela
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2013, Posts 12
Hi, I have read all this posts and I have not found the one that, in my opinion, is today the most advanced technique of placing the string quartet components on a stage. In Mezzo TV I saw yesterday the retransmission of the integral of the Beethoven String Quartets by The Belcea String Quartet at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2012. The placement used was (from left to right, watching from the audience): V1 - V2 - Vc. - Va. This integral of the Beethoven Quartets is considered one of the best interpretations of the decade. I believe that this placement of instruments has to do with the extraordinary quality of such an interpretation.

I've used this setting (V1 - V2 - Vc. - Va. ) in a recent recording
of my Quartet in E flat using VSL in:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HkKu0DI6ug0


Regards,

José Candela
Madrid
Posted on Tue, Jun 20 2017 00:29
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1104

Originally Posted by: PaulR Go to Quoted Post
Excellent. Well done lads.

Big Smile

I've just nearly completed a string quartet thing - and it sounds like all the players are extremely drunk. That's crazy, because the piano part seemed to work and now I'll have rename this to Dorset Cider Party or something like that.

What piano part Paul, in a string quartet? Are you referring to a piano reduction? Nice to hear from you again, and that you still devote some of your time to music instead of joining the pro-golf tour.

So far as the performers' positions are concerned, it is completely up to you, and depends on the style of your music - if memory serves, Stockhausen put his quartet players in four separate helicopters at one time...

Now that's a good excuse for being drunk!

Cheers!

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Jun 20 2017 01:45
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5704

Unforunately, this is an old post and PaulR has long ago gone to the Elysium Fields of Olde Englande.  

Posted on Fri, Jun 23 2017 14:26
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Belgium, Posts 684

Hi Paul,

I don't know what is the best or most used seating in a string quartet and possibly there isn't such an issue. As mentioned in this topic there are different views on it, depending on acoustics, concert space, but also on the orchestration. Some quartets will be sounding better V1-Va-Cl-V2, others with the 2 volins on the left hand side. In my experience (I was working with a small chamber orchestra for more than 25 years), we always preferred the seatings with the first and 2nd violins separated. My ensemble had 3 first and 3 second violins, viola, cello or bass and/or bassoon, 2 flutes, 1 clarinet (or oboe), sometimes 1 or 2 recorders, sometimes 1 piccolo traverso. The violins (devided in two groups of 3) were sitting in the front (L and R), the woodwinds a little backward in between, the bass behind them all, a little to the right.

We tried a lot of positions, but in most halls, this setting sounded great and equilibrated.

I hope this was a bit helpful.

Max

You cannot post new threads in this forum.
You cannot reply to threads in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.