Our Opening Concert contrasts the youthful exuberance and vigour of 16-year-old Mozart with the power and complexity of late Beethoven. Early Mozart is full of jewels like this Quartet, most probably composed in snatched intervals while rehearsing his seventh opera in Milan or at stopovers on the tedious and uncomfortable journey from Salzburg. The sunny opening movement delights the spirits in a celebratory C major while the minor key Andante contains many pre-echoes of arias yet to be written, all topped off with a cheerful presto Finale. Beethoven’s late B flat quartet offers no such easy simplicities although its outwardly Divertimento character does offer two genial, dance-like movements. It seems Beethoven even surprised himself with his famous Finale, once described as the maddest fugue in Western music. For centuries Beethoven’s late quartets had a fearsome reputation, but modern Quartets can all master the difficulties without in any way softening the ferocious impact of that magnificent Fugue.
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Quartet No.4 in C major K.157|
|Ludwig van Beethoven||Quartet No.13 in B flat Op.130/133|
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