The Afternoon Crespo Concert introduces the Armida Quartet, who have embarked on a workshop exploration of all Mozart’s string quartets using both the manuscripts and early editions. Here they play his very first quartet, composed on 15 March 1770 at a wayside inn at Lodi near Milan on the fourteen-year-old prodigy’s first Italian tour. His father, Leopold, commented Wolfgang is doing quite well: at this moment, to kill time, he is writing a quatro.
It may be a slender work, but it is a beginning. The D minor Quartet dates from 13 years later at the peak of his powers. In later years Constanze used to claim that he wrote it while she was giving birth to their first child. It is the second of the quartets he dedicated to his friend Joseph Haydn.