You know, a string quartet isn’t necessarily the only option if you’re considering having live strings at your next function. Factors to consider when deciding on which ensemble you’d like include budget, available space, number of guests, or simply just personal preference.
Below are descriptions to help you decide:
Quartet: 2 violins, viola, cello
String quartet is the most popular form of chamber music. It has the richest and most balanced sound and largest repertoire. When comparing quartet to trio, you notice that the trio does not include viola. To a musician the voice of the viola is especially dear as the ideal inner voice supporting and balancing the overall tonal structure. The four musicians form a semicircle, which is visually impressive.
Trio: 2 violins, cello
String trio does not have viola. Most of our repertoire works well with this ensemble as the two violins and cello carry the important parts of music. However the viola adds a harmonic richness and depth to the sound. The trio takes up less space than a quartet.
Duo: Violin, cello
If you have an intimate function or small space available, duo is the choice for you. We have specially arranged music for the two instruments incorporating as much harmony as possible with the melody (violin) and bass (cello) parts. However having only eight strings there are limitations.
We recommend solo only if you are after J.S Bach cello suites to be performed or only having the melody of a certain composition. The mellow cello sound creates an atmosphere for meditation, reflection and intimacy.
So, not everyone knows which ensemble they might require for their special event, which is why I encourage my clients to chat with me about it. Afterall, you wouldn’t engage a celebrant without liaising with them first I’m sure. There’s a lot to be gained by tapping in to my experience.