The first quartet is in pure eighteenth-century style with a strong influence of Mozart. Its introductory Adagio is for strings only. Three chromatic quavers falling from the dominant to a principal theme of mi-re-doh permeate the Allegro, being used also for the second subject of mi-fa-soh. The second movement again has a principal theme based on mi-re-doh. The return of this after the fermata is heralded with the first movement’s three chromatic notes played ad lib. Crusell treats the clarinet as a solo instrument rather than a member of a group and yet at the same time he is concerned with balance and often marks it down a dynamic from the strings. It was this quartet which, when he heard it in about 1814, inspired Glinka to become a composer.
from notes by Pamela Weston © 1999