Program Note

this other music evoked the contemplation of lovely objects, the exploration of unknown passageways, and then, eventually, a realisation that the form itself, an airy mansion that contained these things, had risen up around us, called into being by its contents.

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Program Note

Painter Agnes Martin has said of her work: “If you wake up in the morning and you feel happy about nothing, no cause, that’s what I paint about.” It could well be said of Mozart that he, too, finds inspiration in the underlying happiness that embraces all corners of our experience, arising radiantly from clear vision. His is an ebullient joy infinitely larger than cheerfulness, although it knows cheer well. He can frolic and poke fun with the best of them, and the next moment enter fully into shadow without being consumed by it. 

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Project

For this “Fragments” project we are exploring the idea of this linkage, reentering abandoned imagined spaces to discover what they might suggest when examined from a fresh perspective. [VIDEO]

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Project

Webern’s time is an expansion of moments which almost elude our grasp, with individual instants held under the magnifying glass of our attention…

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Post

Our first violinist Mark Steinberg introduces the Fragments Project

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Program Note

Reprintable only with permission from the author. Classical style is operatic at its core. It is music of narrative flow, propelled by contrasts and tensions, by interaction between personalities, points of view and states of being. And although later generations codified certain standard forms into which we like to fit the drama of classical period […]

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Program Note

Reprintable only with permission from the author. 1787, the year in which Mozart wrote the g-minor Quintet, K516, was marked for the composer by misfortune and frustration over his lack of success in Vienna, a relatively fallow period compositionally, and his father’s serious illness. Mozart wrote to his father: “I have now made a habit […]

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Program Note

Mozart’s E-flat Viola Quintet, K. 614, dates from the final year of his life, and was his last serious chamber work. It was written at more or less the same time as his opera The Magic Flute, which is also an E-flat-major-based work; but it is striking how this key resonates so differently in the two pieces.

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Program Note

Reprintable only with permission from the author. Mozart’s D Major Quintet, K593, opens with what might be a dialogue between Virtues, a back and forth exchange between Truth and Beauty. The cello alone sets forth the position of Truth, firm and regal, yet austere, and in response the upper four instruments offer a more sensual, […]

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Program Note

Reprintable only with permission from the author. My first encounter with Mozart’s c minor quintet, K406, was at a party. I was a student at a summer chamber music program in Taos, New Mexico, and was part of a group called upon to sight-read music as background entertainment at an outdoor gathering. We arrived armed […]

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Program Note

Mozart’s C major Viola Quintet is among the very greatest of his chamber music masterpieces. The possibilities of adding one extra voice to a string quartet clearly interested the composer in his late years, perhaps because of the increase in contrapuntal opportunity, perhaps because Mozart himself played the viola; in any case, he wrote four major works for viola quintet during this period, and established the genre for posterity.

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Program Note

This viola quintet, on the one hand, bears the stamp of a light, genial divertimento; on the other hand one senses a brilliant young composer just starting to test his wings, to investigate his own potential for surprise and innovation.

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Program Note

Mozart’s wrote his String Quartet in G, K. 387, late in 1782, when he was 26 and a newcomer to Vienna’s musical scene. The Quartet is the first of a set of six quartets that Mozart dedicated to Joseph Haydn.

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Program Note

Mozart composed his B-flat Quartet, K. 589, in the spring of 1790, the year before he died. This quartet and its companion works, K. 575 and K. 590, are often referred to as the “Prussian” Quartets, based on Mozart’s intention to dedicate them to the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II.

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Program Note

The Quartet in A major, K. 464, is the fifth of these, written in the winter of 1785. It was later to command the admiration of the young Beethoven, and to influence directly his own A major Quartet, opus 18 no. 5. Mozart’s quartet is a paradigm of High Classical style, combining as it does a perfect command of form, a sophisticated sense of counterpoint, and an effortlessly galant demeanor.

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Recording

With Hsin-Yun Huang Pairing Mozart’s String Quartet K.¡464 and String Quintet K.¡593 amounts almost to a militant gesture: defending two relatively little-known works by Mozart. By summoning and by combining the force of inspiration with compositional mastery, Mozart achieves a tour de force of classical perfection. Listen to clips:   Viola Quintet [2nd Movement] String Quartet […]

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