With this release, the Engegard Quartet completes its recordings of the six string quartets that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dedicated to his paternal friend Joseph Haydn. The previous album in this series is available from NativeDSD. You will find it shown below under the “You May Also Like…” section of this album.
The six “Haydn” Quartets were written between 1782-85, while Mozart enjoyed great popularity in Vienna. Mozart had written a series of quartets in his youth, but it had been almost ten years since he wrote the last one.
With the “Haydn” Quartets he makes quite different demands on himself, the musicians, and the audience. The structure is not so surprising, here we find fast first movements in what is today called sonata-allegro form, singable slow movements, minuets with trios, and often finale-rondos. But what he fills them with woke Haydn’s admiration and now awakens ours. Haydn’s admiration for his colleague 24 years his junior was expressed through the following words aimed at Mozart’s father Leopold, himself also a capable composer: “I tell you by God as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer I know in person or by name; he has taste and furthermore the greatest compositional knowledge.” Haydn uttered this after having heard three of the quartets at a house concert at Mozart’s residence, where both Wolfgang and Leopold most likely contributed.
The Engegard Quartet tells us “The quartet repertoire is almost endless and over the last fifteen years (yes, we have an anniversary!) we’ve worked on many composers. Yet there is only one who has been with us continually throughout all these years, Mozart.
There is something about his tonal language – the single-mindedness, the joie-de-vivre, the extreme creativity, and the playfulness that fascinates us and does not let go. There is no other composer who in the same ingenious way manages to write four individual voices, each of which is beautiful and convincing in its own right, while still forming such a perfect whole.
Mozart’s quartets can almost be sightread, but even after many hours of rehearsal, we still don’t feel that we really know them. Together with our friends in LAWO Classics, Vegard Landaas and Thomas Wolden, we decided in 2016 to record all of Mozart quartets. This album, along with its predecessor (also available at NativeDSD), contains the six quartets Mozart dedicated to his friend and musical father figure, Joseph Haydn. Each of these has completely different personalities and temperaments.
It is said that these works are some of the pieces that caused Mozart the most trouble, and which he spent the most time composing – which is very understandable considering that they were intended for no less than the father of the string quartet. It is Franz Joseph Haydn himself who is in focus at our annual mini-festival “1-2-3 Haydn”, 12th to 14th November 2021.
We are deeply grateful that we, together with LAWO, have had the opportunity to embark on this adventure. Through working with these quartets, we have learned so much and are discovering more and more of the true nature and character of the quartets. It’s also amazing that this wonderful project was one of the last things we did with Alex Robson, our beautiful 2nd violinist for nearly 10 years. An excellent end to a long period of collaboration! We hope this music will give you as much joy as it has given us.”
Arvid Engegard – Violin
Alex Robson – Violin
Juliet Jopling – Viola
Jan Clemens Carlsen – Cello
Total time: 01:19:53
The Engegård Quartet is supported by Arts Council Norway
|Original Recording Format|
Sofienberg Church in Oslo, Norway on May 18, 19, 21, 22, 2020
|Release Date||September 3, 2021|
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