Year of composition
he quartet offers a diversity of contrasts also very typical of spring. The quartet is divided into four movements planned two by two. That is, the themes presented in the first and third movements are transformed and developed in the second and fourth movements, respectively.
The first movement, Lontano, takes us to a distant world with the high notes of the violins, which evoke a tender and relaxed image. As it develops, the music acquires tension in a more agitated section. It reaches a climax in the tremolo of the instruments, to gradually return to the initial distant environment.
The Presto scorrevole is a mysterious scherzo that plays with various color effects (pizzicati, sul ponticello, col legno, etc.) in a constant, fast ¾ tempo, but with numerous changed accents. Both in the central part and in the Coda, transformed material from the first movement appears.
The Andante espressivo is a slow and lyrical space where the cello presents the main theme in the high register accompanied by the second violin and the viola in its lowest tessitura. The form follows an A-B-A structure, in which the central part is more intense leading to a culminating point.
The last movement, Allegro deciso has great energy and contains incessant meter changes. In the whole first part, the rhythm predominates with numerous accents of great vitality. The central part is a little more relaxed, using thematic material from the Andante, but always maintaining the unstable agitation of the active rhythm. A modified re-exposition and then a brilliant Coda brings the 17-minute-long quartet to an end.