String quartet no. 1 in Dm

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Written near 1823, Arriaga's first quartet presents dramatic melodies and themes organized in a classical fashion. The melodic structures are reminiscent of Mozart, but the development section has more to do with later romantic tradition composers. The violin clearly dominates the adagio movement, as in the style of the period's "quatours brillants." The last movement's form is somewhat confusing: it works as a series of variations, though the contrast of materials seems to suggest a rondo.

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