String Quartet No. 1 (Dvořák)

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Antonín Dvořák finished the composition of his String Quartet No. 1 in A major, Op. 2, (B. 8), in March, 1862. It was one of his early chamber works.


Dvořák's fourteen string quartets covers the substantial part of his composing career, from 1862 (No. 1.) to 1895 (No. 14). The first string quartet wasn't Dvořák's first chamber composition, he had written the String Quintet in A minor (Op. 1) in Summer 1861.

In 1887 Dvořák decided to rework the long forgotten quartet, he removed the unnecessary filling out of the original version.[1]

The composition was dedicated to the director of Prague Conservatory Josef Krejčí, Dvořák's teacher of music theory at the Prague Organ School.[1] No actual performance has been documented till 1888, when the revised version of the work was played at the concert of the Umělecká beseda in the Rudolfinum in Prague. The players were members of the orchestra of the National Theatre, Karel Ondříček, Jan Pelikán, Petr Mareš and Alois Neruda.[2]


The work is composed in four movements:

  1. Andante-allegro
  2. Andante affettuoso et appassionato
  3. Allegro scherzando
  4. Allegro animato

The approximate duration is 33 minutes.

The strongest pre-echo of Dvořák's future mastership is apparent mainly in the 3rd movement, in the three part trio section resonates the forerunner of the many future furiants.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Sleeve note of the Supraphon CD, p. 2
  2. ^ Sleeve note of the Supraphon CD, p. 3


  • Melville-Mason, Graham (2005). Panocha Quartet: Chamber Works Vol. 1. (CD). Antonín Dvořák. Czech Republic: Supraphon. SU 3815-2 138. [1]

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