Ludwig van Beethoven’s overpowering legacy caused many subsequent composers to avoid writing string quartets at all. Saint-Saëns was no exception in this respect and waited until 1899 and 1918 to produce his two contributions to the genre. Couched in classicism, they relate in form and style to early 19th-century French quartets and to a titan of the genre: Joseph Haydn.
Saint-Saëns’ string quartets appear here for the first time in a scholarly-critical edition. It is also the first edition to contain the original version of the Finale to String Quartet No. 2 in score and parts. An informative Introduction is included in the study score to complete this volume of important French chamber music, based on the Urtext from “Camille Saint-Saëns – Complete Edition of the Instrumental Works”.