chapter  6
51 Pages

The debate

The debate, found in the works of the Viennese masters, is commonly regarded as the epitome of the classical era string quartet; ironically, only a very small number of such eighteenth-century works consist solely of this type of movement. This may be explained by the presence of such works as Joseph Haydn's Opp. 20, 33, 50, and 64, and Mozart's "Haydn" quartets, but it also points out composers' lack of familiarity with the vast quartet output of the time period. Many scholars have attached an immense significance to Haydn's words, "a new and special way". Adolf Sandberger understood this phase to indicate that Haydn had worked out the creative crisis, Haydn's new way was evident with the motivic work and the interplay of the instruments. Historically, Haydn and his Viennese contemporaries have overshadowed others who wrote debate-style movements. As a result, musicologists have given only minimal attention to the numerous other composers who used this same manner of discourse.