sábado, 20 de mayo de 2017

Armida Quartett MOZART String Quartets K. 169 - 464 - 589

The members of the Armida quartet have taken a very close look at the original manuscript of Mozart’s Quartet in A Major, K. 464. It is one of the six Haydn Quartets which he wrote after a ten-year hiatus in the genre. This time he dedicated the six works to Haydn in person: al mio caro amico Haydn – “to my dear friend Haydn”, with whom he was now making music in Vienna on a regular basis. Here, once more, Mozart was “reacting” to works written by his model: Haydn’s op. 33, to be specific. Johanna Staemmler notes: “Mozart seemed to have no interest in trying to please someone with this work”. Funda adds: “The first movement sets in rather sparsely, sounding like an uncertain quest”. “And in the last movement, a chorale emerges out of nowhere! Mozart was clearly composing music that would make him reach beyond his own horizons.” Johanna Staemmler pursues. In these quartets he was not writing for his large Vienna audience. While keeping them thrilled and happy with concertos and sym- phonies, he was embarking on a quasi-elitist exchange with Haydn. Spurred by his friend’s evident genius, he wanted to present him with his own ideas, staking everything in the game. And Haydn react- ed with the highest praise. He avowed to Mozart’s father: “As an honest man I swear to you before God: your son is the greatest composer I have ever met or heard of”. Funda points out that the parts in this quartet are more equally distributed. In fact, the part of the 2nd violin is a masterpiece in itself, as his colleague remarks: “This is an incredible part, in utter contrast with the 2nd violin in Quartet K. 169.” Staemmler particularly loves the D Minor variation in the 2nd movement: “Mozart’s creative process is quite interesting: he originally added this variation at the end of the movement, on the last page, as No. 6, but then chose to insert it as the 4th variation. In the score it’s fascinating to note how his plan evolved. You can tell that he was grappling with his own ideas. I am convinced that one should perform from the manuscript, which is much more inspiring than present-day printed scores with their predictably correct layout. In the autograph we see which emotions took hold of him – whether Mozart was composing tranquilly or in a rage; at ease, or pressed for time.”

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