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The string quartet as a genre was still relatively new in Paris by the time these works were composed. During the 1760s quartets by a number of foreign composers – Haydn, foremost among them – had been issued by Parisian publishers, but these works had not exercised a great deal of influence on local composers. Only Gossec, Nicholas Capron and Pierre Vachon published quartets before the appearance of Saint-Georges’s Op.1 and their works – and, in a broader sense, French instrumental music in general – seem to have provided his model rather than the quartets of Haydn. The most obvious point of difference is their two-movement structure as opposed to the four-movement cycle that was typically adopted by Viennese composers. While this might be thought to mark the works out as being rather primitive, two-movement pairings were also common in that quintessentially French genre, the symphonie concertante of which Saint-Georges was to be an important early exponent.