Mozart - String Quartets
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Label: Australian Eloquence
Cat No: ELQ4807396
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 6th July 2015
WorksString Quartet no.16 in E flat major, K428
String Quartet no.17 in B flat major, K458 'The Hunt'
String Quartet no.18 in A major, K464 'Drum'
String Quartet no.19 in C major, K465 'Dissonance'
On 22 January 1785, Mozart’s father Leopold wrote from Salzburg to his daughter Nannerl, relaying the news ‘that last Saturday (Wolfgang) performed his six quartets [in truth probably just KV 387, 421 and 428] for his dear friend Haydn and other good friends, and that he has sold them to Artaria for a hundred ducats’.
The final four works of the set are recorded here by leading members of the Vienna Philharmonic. The Musikverein Quartet first came together in 1973 as the Küchl Quartet and made their Decca recording début at the Sofiensaal in December 1975 with Mozart’s KV 499 and KV 589. Led by the then junior VPO concertmaster Rainer Küchl (born 1950), the group was soon given the Barylli Quartet’s old title of Wiener Musikverein Quartett, which it holds to this day.
Both KV428 and KV464 receive their first international release on CD.
‘I cannot recall a more satisfying version of either [Nos 16 & 17] even from the much treasured sets by the Pro Arte and the Smetana Quartet. […] their playing is sheer delight; phrases breathe naturally, there is a delightful sense of give-and-take between the players, and above all, a sense of enjoyment. One feels this is real chamber music-playing and that one is eavesdropping on domestic music-making of the highest quality without any sense of concert-hall projection that mars so many of the more celebrated ensembles now before the public.’ - Gramophone, November 1980
‘The outer movements of KV464 in A are very brilliant … the variations slow movement is played at exactly the right tempo. […] The outer movements of KV465 call for even more bravura, and they receive it in abundance from the Viennese players … the slow movement – and indeed the Minuet and Trio – are played with great eloquence and with faultless feeling for tempo.’ - Gramophone, April 1981
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