Brahms was very respectful of earlier composers, and preferred to compose his music in styles that had been seen previously. His contempories tended to dismiss him as being conservative as he wasn’t very exploratory. His quintet was intended for skilled performers.
This is a quintet of 2 violins, a viola, a cello, and a piano. All of the parts are technically demanding. First violin and piano share the majority of the melody, but during the fugato it is distributed more evenly. There is also use of instrument specific techniques such as pizzicato and double stopping. This makes the parts idiomatic. Each part also uses almost the entire range of the instrument.
Pulse remains steady throughout the piece, but metre switches from compound to simple at various points. There is use of syncopation in the opening melody, and the second theme…