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Lesser-Known Chamber Music Currently In Print

by Jan Holländers

Updated 8/2009


For the curious or adventurous chamber music enthusiast this is a period of unprecedented plenty. Thanks to the computer, the scanner and the photocopier the variety of music available to purchase is vastly greater than ever before in history; but finding one's way through this treasure house is not easy because not all of it is sold through retail music shops.

These publications should help. They are an attempt to list all the lesser-known chamber music currently in print, beginning with string quartets. They are as complete as one man's solo efforts can make them, but assert no claim to being exhaustive; and if it were not out of date by next week it would be a miracle. We believe nevertheless that the attempt is worth making and that it may prove useful to fellow chamber music enthusiasts around he world.

To keep the booklets to a manageable size, the scope of each booklet has been severely limited. For instance, the String Quartet booklet omits:

  • All the standard classics; no Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart.
  • All quartets by composers who survived beyond 1935.
    The original works listed are therefore all out of copyright;
    their modern editions may still be protected.
  • All arrangements; no quartet versions of Sousa marches or Strauss waltzes.

If these listings are well received and if the elderly originators retain sufficient vigour it may in due time be expanded to include string trios, quintets etc., works with piano, and perhaps even more recent works.

All the publishers listed herein contactable by e-mail have been invited to check the accuracy of their entries and we are grateful to those who have responded; they are identified by an asterisk against their abbreviation.

The credit for this publication belongs almost exclusively to Jan Holländers of Zaandijk in the Netherlands whose indefatigable list-making over most of a lifetime has provided all the data herein. His encyclopaedic knowledge of published chamber music literature has hitherto been made unreservedly available to his friends. We are delighted to have this opportunity to make it available to a wider world.

Guides to Lesser-Known Chamber Music

Vol. 1 - String Quartets

Vol. 2 - String Duos to Octets and Beyond

Vol. 3 - Two or More Strings & Piano

Vol. 4 - Strings with Winds

Buying The Music

The booklet contains references to, and contact information for, all of the publishers of the string quartets listed. See page 27 of the new catalog for ordering information from these sources.

If you find something in this booklet that takes your fancy, how do you go about buying it? For Merton Music, which sells only by mail order, follow the instructions on their web page. Otherwise, if the publisher is in your country your local music shop should be able to obtain it. If the publisher is abroad you should still try your local retailer (such as Sheet Music Plus), but if he fails you can try a specialist retailer, e.g. Fuller Music of Cinderford U.K. or Broekmans and van Poppel of Amsterdam; if you have internet access visit the publisher's website; many have facilities for ordering on line or even for paying by credit or debit card; write to the publisher direct; but be prepared to research methods of paying in a foreign currency.