Béla Bartók’s six string quartets constitute one of the pinnacles of the repertory for this instrumental combination. His String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102 is the longest in the collection and reflects a symphonic yearning that connects with works like Bedřich Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1, “From My Life”. This transfers the principles of the symphonic poem to the sphere of chamber music to narrate a story using exclusively musical means.