For the first time complete in one set: the works for string ensemble by Mozart. Ranging from the duos for violin and viola to the magnificent string quintets, these works show Mozart’s genius in ensemble writing, finding the perfect balance of harmony and counterpoint, while expressing the whole gamut of human emotions, from debonair gaiety to dark despair.
A central position in the set is of course for the 17 string quartets, flanked on one side by the wonderful string trio, and on the other side by the 6 mature and large scale string quintets. Excellent performances by leading string ensembles, such as the Chilingirian Quartet, the Orlando Quartet and the Franz Schubert Quartet of Vienna.
Mozart’s genius can often be perceived most clearly in the technical experimentation and expressive breadth of his chamber works; this 12-disc box set of his complete string duos, trios, quartets and quintets places this genius and skill in the spotlight, offering a comprehensive overview of some of the Classical era’s greatest masterpieces.
In these works - which span Mozart’s career, from the K80 quartet that he composed as a 14-year-old prodigy to the K590 quartet, which dates from the year before his death - listeners will find a wealth of inventive techniques: variations, canonic and fugal writing, operatic melodies, graceful slow movements, playful changes in character and moments of musical drama are all present.
“the glamorous sound and slight reverberation given to the Franz Schubert Quartet ideally suits their generous tone, whereas too many other recordings sound flat by comparison; it also particularly enhances their judicious application of subtly graded dynamics - a virtue especially noticeable in K575.” MusicWeb International, August 2012