String Quintet No. 1 (Brahms)

Johannes Brahms' String Quintet No. 1 in F major, op. 88, was composed in 1882 in the spa town of Bad Ischl, Upper Austria, and published by the firm of Fritz Simrock.[1] It was first performed at a chamber music evening in Frankfurt-on-Main on 29 December 1882.

It is a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet with a second viola. Brahms composed the work in three movements:

  1. Allegro non troppo ma con brio
    In sonata form. The first subject group is in F major, while the second is in A major, the first of the "pervasive mediant relationships" in this work.[1]
  2. Grave ed appassionato — Allegretto vivace — Tempo I — Presto — Tempo I
    In double variation form. The first theme is based on a sarabande Brahms wrote in 1854, while the second theme is based on a gavotte that he wrote in the same year. The movement starts in C major, and ends in A major, another mediant relationship.[1]
  3. Allegro energico — Presto
    In a fusion of sonata and contrapuntal forms. The final key of the previous movement, A major, and the key of this movement, F major, represent another mediant relationship.[1]

Brahms described the quintet to his friend Clara Schumann as "one of [his] finest works" and told Simrock, "You have never before had such a beautiful work from me."[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Wyld, Joanna (2009). "Sleeve Notes: Nash Ensemble – Brahms String Quintets". Retrieved 13 April 2010.

External links

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