Svendsen’s first important work is paired with the very last work by his contemporary Max Bruch, and certainly impressed Svendsen’s contemporaries. He must have shown it to Saint-Saëns when they performed together in the late 1860s, for Saint-Saëns quotes the opening of Svendsen’s slow movement almost note for note in the minuet from the second movement of his first cello concerto! Bruch wrote his Octet in early 1920, just a few months before his death. It was apparently a reworking of a quintet he had written the year before, in which he stipulated that it might be performed by a string orchestra. Bruch substitutes a double bass for the second cello and this adds an extra resonance to the lower strings that somehow enhances the work’s undeniably autumnal quality.