Rachmaninov twice attempted to write a string quartet, both times leaving the works unfinished with only two movements apiece. The Romance is from the earlier quartet written when Rachmaninov was still a precocious student at the Moscow Conservatory, already recognized as a gifted composer and pianist. It dates from 1889-1890 when he was only 17. It is a beguiling miniature: graceful, wistful and colorful with highlights of pizzicato and tremolo. It is easy to liken the piece to Tchaikovsky if not specifically the Serenade from his own first string quartet written twenty years earlier. The long, languid lines falling in the main theme seem akin to both composers, while the brighter, rising lines of the middle con moto section characterizes both compositions. Rachmaninov would continue to evoke this association in passages here or there while, as a mature composer, he would find his own magnificently distinct voice, especially in the works featuring the piano (monumental as well as miniature) of which he himself became the first great performer.