VISIT WESTCORKMUSIC.IE

LATEST ADDITION TO THE ARCHIVE

String Quartet in C major K.465 'Dissonance'

Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)

Cremona Quartet (photo credit: Irene Zandel)

Cremona Quartet (photo credit: Irene Zandel)

Composer
Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Composition Year
1785
Work Movements
1. Adagio – Allegro
2. Andante cantabile
3. Minuet – Allegro and Trio
4. Allegro molto
Artists
Cremona Quartet (Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli [violins] Simone Gramalgia [viola] Giovanni Scaglione [cello])

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

The C major Quartet is the last of the series of the six quartets that Mozart dedicated to his great friend and mentor Joseph Haydn, a series of quartets that Mozart himself described as these six children of mine, the fruit of long and laborious endeavour.

The Dissonance Quartet is so named on account of the slow introduction to the opening Allegro. The harmonic structure of the texture of the opening bars - a chromatically descending bass - is not extraordinary even in the context of the eighteenth century, but Mozart uses a series of false relations in the first eight bars to blur the tonality and to generate tension about how he will untangle the deliberately tangled skein. Like Wagner's Tristan chord, these few notes have been the cause of much erudite and impassioned debate - indeed many early performers even corrected what they thought were Mozart's mistakes. The Allegro when it arrives is of crystalline beauty, clear in structure and shining with joy. The only darkness amidst this light-filled music comes in the development when the cello seems to be dragging us back to the tensions of the opening introduction.

The Andante cantabile is one of Mozart's most intensely beautiful creations. Perhaps its most affecting inspiration is a sighing figure that is passed magically amongst the four instruments. As the movement progresses the music is transformed from gentle beauty into a profundity that no words can reflect.

Inevitably the minuet must bring us back to ground level with a combination of earthiness and spirited energy. The Trio is led even more energetically by the first violin with some neat interjections by the cello near the end. The finale is clearly written in homage to Haydn as it uses several techniques pioneered by him, such as the sudden rests in the main theme used to build up tension. The second theme has a tendency to burst out into a cascade of brilliant semiquaver runs followed by an uneasy dream-like episode. Another trick of Papa Haydn's was the false entry of the recapitulation, which Mozart tries three times before eventually finding the correct key. So does the youthful master make obeisance to his mentor, while we listen transfixed. 

FULL DETAILS SEARCH FOR MORE

String Quartet in C major K.465 'Dissonance'

Composer: Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Performance date: Friday 26th June 2015
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

Share on Twitter | Share on Facebook
http://archive.westcorkmusic.ie/details/view/cmf/456

Composer Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Work Title String Quartet in C major K.465 'Dissonance'
Composition Year 1785
Work Movements 1. Adagio – Allegro
2. Andante cantabile
3. Minuet – Allegro and Trio
4. Allegro molto
Artist(s) Cremona Quartet (Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli [violins] Simone Gramalgia [viola] Giovanni Scaglione [cello])
Performance Date Friday 26th June 2015
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Opening Concert
Duration 00:30:09
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category String Quartet
Instrumentation 2vn, va, vc
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

The C major Quartet is the last of the series of the six quartets that Mozart dedicated to his great friend and mentor Joseph Haydn, a series of quartets that Mozart himself described as these six children of mine, the fruit of long and laborious endeavour.

The Dissonance Quartet is so named on account of the slow introduction to the opening Allegro. The harmonic structure of the texture of the opening bars - a chromatically descending bass - is not extraordinary even in the context of the eighteenth century, but Mozart uses a series of false relations in the first eight bars to blur the tonality and to generate tension about how he will untangle the deliberately tangled skein. Like Wagner's Tristan chord, these few notes have been the cause of much erudite and impassioned debate - indeed many early performers even corrected what they thought were Mozart's mistakes. The Allegro when it arrives is of crystalline beauty, clear in structure and shining with joy. The only darkness amidst this light-filled music comes in the development when the cello seems to be dragging us back to the tensions of the opening introduction.

The Andante cantabile is one of Mozart's most intensely beautiful creations. Perhaps its most affecting inspiration is a sighing figure that is passed magically amongst the four instruments. As the movement progresses the music is transformed from gentle beauty into a profundity that no words can reflect.

Inevitably the minuet must bring us back to ground level with a combination of earthiness and spirited energy. The Trio is led even more energetically by the first violin with some neat interjections by the cello near the end. The finale is clearly written in homage to Haydn as it uses several techniques pioneered by him, such as the sudden rests in the main theme used to build up tension. The second theme has a tendency to burst out into a cascade of brilliant semiquaver runs followed by an uneasy dream-like episode. Another trick of Papa Haydn's was the false entry of the recapitulation, which Mozart tries three times before eventually finding the correct key. So does the youthful master make obeisance to his mentor, while we listen transfixed.