String Quartet no. 1 in F Major Op. 4, Mvt. 1, Allegro

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String Quartet no. 1 in F Major Op. 4, Mvt. 1, Allegro


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Classical music
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This quartet is based on classical/romantic models. It has been performed several times by the University of Redlands String Quartet, Western Society of Chamber Music String Quartet, and Cuatro Puntos String Quartet.

Mvt. 1, Allegro (F major). The opening theme of this movement was the starting point for the entire project. The first phrase is repeated, leading to a transitional passage, and ultimately, the secondary key. The themes of the second tonal center are decidedly more vague and introspective, lending themselves to immediate development and contrasting in mood from the opening themes. The classical repeat of the exposition is disposed of in favor of a "false" repeat which takes a turn into unexpected keys. Both groups of thematic material are developed in turn, as well as their transitions and cadential figures. An unusual feature of this movement is the use of a cadenza (unaccompanied solo) before the retransition of the sonata form. This is a common feature of the Romantic concerto, but quite rare in quartet literature. The placement of the cadenza before the recapitulation avoids pacing problems that arise from stopping the action at the end of a piece, as is the convention.

The live mp3 is a recording of the Cuatro Puntos String Quartet, 11/23/2013: Aaron Packard, violin Annie Trepanier, violin Kevin Bishop, viola Pablo Issa Skaric, cello

Watch performances here:


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