Mozart Flute Quartets

Mozart Flute Quartets

The first two flute quartets (K285 and 285a) are commissioned works composed in haste in Mannheim in 1778-79. Mozart was on the Grand Tour that later ended in tragedy, when his mother died in Paris. In Mannheim he struggled to find a permanent position and fell hopelessly in love with a young singer. He was passionately preoccupied with dreams of opera, but he also found time to compose a number of boundary-breaking piano works. The Mannheim court orchestra was one of Europe’s best and Mozart made many new musician friends there, including the flautist Wendling, who was considered one of the world’s leading virtuosi. Mozart admired his sensitive playing and composed wind parts for one of his flute concertos. It is not impossible that Wendling’s quartets and trios inspired him when he himself went to work composing a small collection of concertos and quartets for flute. It was a commission, and the client was Ferdinand Dejean, a doctor in the Dutch West India Company. The money was good, but Mozart was probably not overwhelmed with enthusiasm. He delivered two small masterpieces, but it is not clear whether he managed to write all that he had promised. The two quartets, along with few other works, are what we have left of the order from the Dutch amateur musician.

The quartet in C major (K. Anh. 171 (285b)) is from Mozart’s first period in Vienna, 1781-82. He was making an impact as an independent artist. He had freed himself from the Archbishop of Salzburg, and was close to freedom from his father. He was earning good money, and experiencing success as a pianist, teacher and opera composer. The quartet was probably intended as an offer to the city’s many amateur musicians. The second movement consists of variations and is almost identical to a movement from Mozart’s large Serenade in B flat major for 12 winds and double-bass. The Serenade was written in the same period for Vienna’s leading wind players and aroused great attention in the city. A modern theory claims that the large Serenade was Mozart’s gift to Konstanze Weber, who in her old age spoke of a fine Serenade that was performed at her and Mozart’s wedding. Whether it really was this Serenade we shall probably never know, and the scholars have been unable to agree on this point. Movements and fragments from the great Serenade soon spread all over Europe in all sorts of arrangements, and one of them forms the second movement of the little quartet in C major. It is not clear whether it was Mozart who arranged the variations in the second movement of the flute quartet, but we know with certainty that he wrote the first movement. Sketches for it are notated in his own hand on one of the sheets of music paper he used when he composed his opera The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1781.

Reviews

Mozart Flute Quartets

October 31, 2008

..should appeal to those who enjoy exceptionally well-recorded, attractive and life-affirming chamber music; All Music Guide America

Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide America,

Mozart Flute Quartets

September 30, 2008

"this is a remarkable and enchanting disc of exceptional attributes". Fanfare US

Steven E. Ritter, Fanfare,

Mozart Flute Quartets

September 30, 2008

Sie Spielt die Blokflöte sehr virtuos und mit einer souveränen Technik. Pizzicato (LU)

Remy Franck, Pizzicato

Mozart Flute Quartets

September 9, 2008

Diese Einspielung ist ein Genuss, der grösser nicht sein kann.Windkanal Magazine

Vera Morche, Windkanal Magazine

Mozart Flute Quartets

August 25, 2008

10/10/10 in Klassik Heute

Heinz Braun, Klassik Heute

Mozart Flute Quartets

August 9, 2008

A Winner – FIVE STARS!” (Maximum)Audiophile Audition

Peter Bates, Audiophile

Mozart Flute Quartets

July 31, 2008

Gramophone China

Gramophone China

Mozart Flute Quartets

July 31, 2008

The disc is a high quality SACD recording . Musical Pointer UK

Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointer UK,

Mozart Flute Quartets

May 31, 2008

10/10 Classics Today, (US)

David Vernier, Classics Today

Mozart Flute Quartets

January 10, 2008

The nimble Petri makes the recorder sound so right in Mozart – delightful!

Nalen Anthoni, Gramophone (UK)