Music and Vision homepage

CD Spotlight

Two violas

Mozart's String Quintets -

'The playing demonstrates the lovely range of tone colours the team can so readily deploy.'

Mozart: String Quintets. (c) 2000 ASV Ltd

In March 1778 Mozart and his mother set off from Mannheim for Paris. The journey by coach almost killed them because of the cold, the lack of air and excruciating boredom. Mozart had with him a B flat string quintet with two violas written when he was sixteen and just back from his third Italian journey. It was Mozart's year of the two violas, as all his 1773 symphonies use them. Mozart then wrote no more string quintets for fourteen years. What brought him back to the medium and the production of five masterpieces in his last five years? Perhaps the need for patronage. In January 1786 Boccherini had become court composer to the future king of Prussia, a good cellist. Mozart may have hoped to interest him in a batch of quintets that could enrich his library and display his skill. He later dedicated his final three quartets to the king, but with the quintets he failed. He then announced three of them for public subscription, but the response was poor.

Continue >>

Copyright © 25 September 2002 Robert Anderson, London, UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Martha Argerich >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.