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Rabl’s Quartet in E-Flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, Op. 1 won first prize in 1896 in a prestigious competition for young composers sponsored by the Vienna Tonkünstlerverein (Musicians’ Society) of which Johannes Brahms was honorary president and a judge of the competition. Brahms recommended the piece to his own publisher, Simrock, who released it the following year along with three other Rabl works: the Fantasy Pieces for Piano Trio, Op. 2, and two sets of Four Songs, Op. 3 and Op. 4. The Op. 1 quartet appears to be the first work ever written for that combination, which was later more famously used by Messiaen in his Quatuor pour la fin du temps ("Quartet for the end of time"), composed in 1941.

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