SAQ playing

Sonata à Quattro, performing on the Sunday Afternoon Live at the Chazen series.
Photo:  Jaret Schroeder

Welcome to our website!

The period-instrument ensemble Sonata à Quattro was formed in 2017, as the Ensemble-In-Residence for Bach Around The Clock, the annual community music festival in Madison, WI.

The ensemble’s name refers to baroque chamber music scored for three melody lines plus continuo. The more-familiar trio sonata format, which enjoyed great popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries, employs a continuo with only two melody instruments, typically treble instruments like violins or flutes. In contrast, a sonata à quattro includes a middle voice, frequently a viola, in addition to the two treble instruments and continuo; this scoring has a fuller, richer sonority, and can be seen as a precursor to the string quartet.