"…Mozart's two piano quartets, however, are held as exemplars, for his solutions to the ensemble's unique problems of balance and cohesion are convincing and elegant. The players' roles shift constantly, each taking turns as the dominant part; the counterpoint is consistent and inventive, always maintaining a tension that interlocks the trio with the piano; and the pieces are as strongly characterized and richly developed as any of Mozart's other great chamber works. The Mozartean Players perform on pianoforte and period string instruments, and their tuning is a little lower than one hears on modern instruments. However, this lends warmth to the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat and a deeper sense of pathos to the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor. Both pieces are skillfully played, with a conversational tone appropriate to Mozart's intentions…"
Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra is one of his greatest masterpieces. It was a joy and an honour to record Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
Dittersdorf Symphony Concertante in D major for viola and double bass written circa 1775. The viola and the double bass are certainly the two most unreasonably neglected soloists among the orchestral strings; to pair them in a sinfonia concertante may well in the first place have been a charitable idea on Dittersdorf's part.
Once in a while, we encounter recordings that—for lack of proper advocacy—are doomed to exist in the musical backwater. Their artistic merit is unquestionably beyond reproach and their sound quality is far in excess of the norm. This is one such recording. - Michael Carter
Hours and hours of delicate masterpieces by the Viennese Classical master, Mozart! The Alban Berg Quartet, Markus Wolf (viola) and Alfred Brendel (piano) perform String Quartets K. 387; 421; 458 ("Hunt"); 428; 464; 465 ("Dissonance"); 499 ("Hoffmeister"); 575; 589; 590; 515, and 516, plus String Quintets K. 515 and 516; Piano Concerto K. 414 (arranged for piano and string quartet by Mozart), and Piano Quartet K. 493.
What made Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart perhaps the most complete "musical package" in history—a man who created more masterpieces of virtually every musical genre of his day than any other composer before or since? There is perhaps no better way to explore this question than by studying his chamber music. Nowhere is Mozart's maturity and mastery more apparent than in the chamber music he wrote during the last 10 years of his life.
This is an opportunity to study and enjoy a variety of chamber works drawn primarily from Mozart’s "golden years" in Vienna, 1781–1791. The centerpiece of the course is the set of six Haydn string quartets that Mozart dedicated to his friend, the great Joseph Haydn. Across the span of the course, you will explore works that represent the three types of chamber music that Mozart composed: Any chamber group consisting, in whole or in part, of a string quartet: two violins, a viola, and a cello. The "piano plus" combination: works for keyboard and some other instrument or instruments. Everything else: combinations that employ neither a string quartet nor a piano.