Gabriel Fauré's only string quartet which was composed in 1923-24 is the composer’s final work and was written at the suggestion of his publisher Jacques Durand.
Until then, Fauré had always put off writing a string quartet, evidently because of Beethoven’s imposing shadow. When Fauré composed the quartet he was already extremely ill. He added dynamics and slurs only in some parts of the exposition of the first movement and then asked his former pupil Jean Roger-Ducasse to complete the work. Roger-Ducasse’s additions were however very extensive; he even altered and supplemented some of Fauré’s own markings in the exposition.
Bärenreiter's first ever scholarly critical edition of the quartet based on vol. V/3 of the edition "Gabriel Fauré: œvres complètes" begun in August 2010 utilises all sources including the composer’s letters which provide valuable insights into the origins of the composition. In particular, Fauré’s penultimate work, the Piano Trio op. 120, was used to guide the editor with his emendations.