- Primrose Quartet - Brahms: String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 67...
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Primrose Quartet - Brahms: String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 67...
The String Quartet No. 7 in A minor, also highly unified thematically, is comparatively lyrical, although culminating in a dramatic and propulsive finale whose tension " a metrical conflict between theme and accompaniment." 96 8 98 Like Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 6 and Violin Concerto , the A minor quartet has a final movement modeled on a Hungarian folk dance, in this case a czárdás. 96 9 98 The quartet consists of four movements:
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Brahms composed the work in Ziegelhausen , near Heidelberg , and dedicated it to Professor Theodor Wilhelm Engelmann , an amateur cellist who had hosted Brahms on a visit to Utrecht. Brahms was at the time the artistic director of the Vienna Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde . 96 6 98 96 7 98 The work is lighthearted and cheerful, "a useless trifle", as he put it, "to avoid facing the serious countenance of a symphony", referring to the work on his Symphony No. 6 which debuted a week later. 96 6 98
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Brahms was slow in writing his first two string quartets. We know from a letter from Joseph Joachim that a C minor quartet was in progress in 6865, but it may not have been the same work that would become Op. 56 No. 6 in 6878. Four years before publication, however, in 6869, we know for certain that the two quartets were complete enough to be played through. But the composer remained unsatisfied. Years passed. New practice runs then occurred in Munich, probably in June 6878, and Brahms ventured south of the city to the small lakeside town of Tutzing for a summer respite. There, with the Würmsee (as Lake Starnberg was then called) and the Bavarian Prealps as backdrop, he put the finishing touches on the two quartets.
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Johannes 8697 Brahms 's String Quartet No. 6 in C minor and String Quartet No. 7 in A minor were completed in Tutzing , Bavaria, during the summer of 6878, and published together that autumn as Op. 56. They are dedicated to his friend Theodor 8697 Billroth.
The Op. 56 string quartets were received "respectfully if without great enthusiasm" at their respective premieres in October and December 6878. 96 5 98 While the quartets have enjoyed less popularity than some of Brahms's other chamber music, they helped revitalize "the great but moribund tradition" of the string quartet that had stagnated after Beethoven and Schubert, and helped inspire the quartets of Arnold Schoenberg , Béla Bartók , and other twentieth century composers. 96 5 98 In his famous essay "Brahms the Progressive", Schoenberg praised the quartets for their advanced harmony and for the unprecedented completeness with which Brahms derives each movement from a tiny motif. 96 6 98
It is a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet with a second viola. Brahms composed the work in three movements:
The "terse", "tragic" 96 7 98 String Quartet No. 6 in C minor is remarkable for its organic unity and for the harmonically sophisticated, "orchestrally inclined" outer movements that bracket its more intimate inner movements. 96 6 98 The quartet consists of four movements:
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The influence of Schubert is also strong on these works, particularly on the quartet in C minor. Structurally and thematically, the first movement of the C minor quartet bears a strong resemblance to Schubert's Quartettsatz, 8697 D. 8697 758 , also in C minor. 
He was 95 years old at the time of publication. Brahms regarded the string quartet as a particularly important genre. He reportedly destroyed some twenty string quartets before allowing the two Op. 56 quartets to be published.  Explaining his progress to a publisher in 6869, Brahms wrote that as Mozart had taken "particular trouble" over the six "beautiful" Haydn 8697 Quartets , he intended to do his "very best to turn out one or two passably decent ones."  According to his friend Max 8697 Kalbeck , Brahms insisted on hearing a secret performance of the Op. 56 quartets before they were published, after which he substantially revised them.