Precocious Wolfgang Rihm was 18 when he composed
Quartet No. 1. (Although, to be more precise, he had already written a
piece in G minor for two violins, viola and cello in 1966 – it was premièred in
1997 – and another one two years later, also premièred in 1997).
His first quartet
with a number appeared in 1987, by which time Rihm had already created a
considerable oeuvre, including Quartets 3
through 7. In retrospect, critics
attested that the First was an
astonishing departure towards Rihm’s compositional future.