Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed twenty-six string quartets throughout his life. The best known are the six he wrote in 1785, a few years after moving to Vienna. They are known as the “Haydn Quartets” because they were influenced by the old master’s Op. 33 quartets. But he had already written another set of six during his third trip to Italy, between the fall of 1782 and the spring of 1783. Today they are called the “Milanese Quartets”. In this program, the Metropolitan Soloists performed two quartets that reflect the difference between these two notebooks. KV 156 was designed for the Italian market, not least because it only has three movements and closes with a Minuet. It has no greater pretensions than to provide moments of pure entertainment; and it succeeds admirably. In KV 465, on the other hand, there is a laborious writing style, filtered through successive revisions. For a moment, it makes us forget the spontaneity we’ve heard before and which we’re more used to associating with this composer. The beginning, dark and distressing, must have made quite an impression on listeners at the time and gave rise to the name by which it became known, “Dissonance”. For about two minutes there are inconclusive intervals, full of drama. Paradoxically, they pave the way for four movements full of vivacity and brilliance. It almost feels like celebrating Consonance.
W. A. Mozart String Quartet No. 3, KV 156
W. A. Mozart String Quartet No. 19, KV 465, Dissonance
Anzhela Akopyan, Daniela Radu violins
Sérgio Sousa viola
Ana Cláudia Serrão cello