Oboe Quartet in F major K.370

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
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Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)

Performance date: 06/07/2018

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1780

Duration: 00:14:48

Recording Engineer: Ciaran Cullen, RTÉ

Instrumentation: 2vn, va, vc

Instrumentation Category:String Quartet

Instrumentation Other: 2vn, va, vc, ob

Artists: Elias Quartet (Sara Bitlloch, Donald Grant [violins], Simone van der Giessen [viola], Marie Bitlloch [cello]) - [quartet]
Ramon Ortega Quero - [oboe]

Like most of Mozart’s great works involving
a solo wind instrument, his Oboe Quartet was written for a particular oboist,
Friedrich Ramm. Mozart had met him on his extended stay at Mannheim
in the winter of 1777-8, when he was on his way to try to make his fortune in Paris. The Mannheim
Orchestra was famed for its skill throughout Europe.
When political changes led to the music-loving Elector Karl Theodore moving
from Mannheim to Munich, his orchestra followed him. Two and a
half years later, Mozart’s assiduous courting of Karl Theodore paid off and he
was invited to Munich
to compose an opera for immediate production. This was to be Idomeneo and proved to be one of the
happiest periods in his life, when he basked in the praise of the Elector, the
singers and the musicians.


Throughout the rehearsals, Mozart enjoyed the support
and enthusiasm of his old friends from Mannheim;
for him it was a joy to work with top-class musicians.  Ramm declared after the first rehearsal: I must candidly confess that until this time
no music has made such an impression upon me.
His friendship was rewarded
in a unique way, Mozart writing this lovely quartet for him. It is a
particularly attractive work, providing Ramm with an unostentatious opportunity
for subtle virtuosity. The first movement is bursting with energy and high
spirits – this is Mozart in his most cheerful and scintillating humour. The
slow movement gives the soloist scope to show his expressive qualities at a
slow tempo, the oboe singing gently of some quiet sorrow. The final rondo has
the oboe propose the principal melody, then echoed by the strings. The episodes
that follow give the wind instrument further opportunities of elegantly
delightful display. This is a work to
treasure and enjoy.