Bartók’s most concentrated Quartet, and a leading chamber-music exemplar of the century. Despite the work’s miraculous symmetry, the fourth, all-pizzicato movement arose as an after-thought, to connect Bartók’s slow movement to his finale. Many quartet players see this as the most gratifying of the six quartets to play, being more fully formed than the Third, yet less stylized than the Fifth. For some audiences it may be a harder nut to crack.
Note by Malcolm Gillies