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Hyperion Records

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A Concert, 1730s by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Pater (1695-1736)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67861/3
Recording details: December 2009
St Paul's Church, Deptford, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 27 minutes 46 seconds

'The performances … are magnificently played throughout—conversational, argumentative, profoundly expressive, witty—and rank with the finest ever committed to disc' (The Sunday Times)

'The four quintets are among Mozart's richest chamber works. The Nash Ensemble's survey of all six pieces … is light in touch, with transparency of texture and clarity of part-playing given high priority' (The Irish Times)

String Quintet in E flat major, K614
composer
completed on 12 April 1791; published by Artaria in 1793 with the inscription Composto per un Amatore Ongharesa, possibly Johann Tost

Allegro di molto  [10'31]
Andante  [8'02]
Allegro  [5'12]

Other recordings available for download
Salomon Quartet, Simon Whistler (viola)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Completed on 12 April 1791, the String Quintet in E flat major K614, Mozart’s last major chamber composition, is the most Haydnesque work of his maturity, perhaps a conscious homage to his friend who had left for London a few months earlier. One of the fascinating things about this work is its balance between a frankly popular, even bucolic manner (the first movement is evocative of the chase, with the violas imitating hunting horns at the outset) and a natural Mozartian grace and refinement.

The opening Allegro di molto contrasts a prevailing tone of jocular banter (the horn call is rarely absent for long) with a sinuous second theme, proposed by the first violin and repeated by the cello against veiled chromatic counterpoints in the violas—a wonderful moment of Mozartian expressive ambivalence. For his slow movement Mozart writes a popular-style Romance in gavotte rhythm, of a type familiar elsewhere in Mozart (most famously in Eine kleine Nachtmusik) and Haydn. Like many Haydn movements it fuses rondo and free variation form, with episodes that develop the dainty gavotte theme in increasingly ornate textures.

The jaunty minuet works its ubiquitous descending scale motif in ever-changing instrumental combinations before the violas finally turn it upside down—a slyly witty touch. With a nod to Haydn’s Symphony No 88, the trio presents a lolloping Ländler over a rustic drone bass. In spirit and technique, even the cut of its contredanse tune, the monothematic finale echoes another recent Haydn work, the E flat String Quartet, No 6, from the set published as Op 64. Like Haydn’s finale, it virtuosically combines the popular and (in eighteenth-century parlance) ‘learned’ styles. Brilliant sallies for the first violin and evocations of a gypsy band rub shoulders with bouts of cerebral fugal writing. Then, near the close, Mozart plays the Haydnesque trick of casually turning the melody on its head (shades here of the minuet), before the quintet ends in a volley of sardonic laughter.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2010


Other albums featuring this work
'Mozart: String Quintets' (CDD22005)
Mozart: String Quintets
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDD22005  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  

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