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MOZART // The Complete String Quartets

Talich Quartet,

From the footsteps of Haydn to the gates of confession.

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Any discussion of the “art of the string quartet” in relation to Mozart invariably turns dithyrambic. It means running over history a little too quickly and, with due respect to Milos Forman’s Amadeus, seeing genius as an abstraction.

The “divine Mozart”, who so enchanted with his supposed lightness of touch, in his 23rd and last quartet, completed in June 1790, turned to the crucial questions every artist asks of their true place in society.

MILANESE QUARTETS (KV155 - 160)

String Quartet No. 2 in D major, K. 155

 

  • Allegro 3’38
  • Andante 4’10
  • Molto allegro 1’32

String Quartet No. 3 in G major, K. 156

 

  • Presto 2’53
  • Adagio 6’11
  • Tempo di menuetto 5’50

String Quartet No. 4 in C major, K. 157

 

  • Allegro 5’30
  • Andante 4’20
  • Presto 1’58

String Quartet No. 5 in F major, K. 158

 

  • Allegro 3’25
  • Andante un poco allegretto 4’55
  • Tempo di menuetto 5’50

String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat major, K. 159

 

  • Andante 5’16
  • Allegro 5’16
  • Rondo : allegro grazioso 2’43

String Quartet No. 7 in E-flat major, K. 160

 

  • Allegro 3’14
  • Un poco adagio 4’30
  • Presto 2’55
VIENNESE QUARTETS (V168 - 172)

String Quartet No. 8 in F major, K. 168

 

  • Allegro 4’38
  • Andante 4’37
  • Menuetto – Trio 2’41
  • Allegro 1’57

String Quartet No. 9 in A major, K. 169

 

  • Molto allegro 3’46
  • Andante 5’53
  • Menuetto – Trio 3’00
  • Rondo – Allegro 1’46

String Quartet No. 10 in C major, K. 170

 

  • Andante 4’14
  • Menuetto – Trio 2’51
  • Un poco adagio 5’04
  • Rondo – Allegro 2’23

String Quartet No. 11 in E-flat major, K. 171

 

  • Adagio – Allegro assai 5’02
  • Menuetto – Trio 2’51
  • Andante 5’04
  • Allegro assai 2’48

String Quartet No. 12 in B-flat major, K. 172

 

  • Allegro spiritoso 4’20
  • Adagio 7’34
  • Menuetto – Trio 2’54
  • Allegro assai 4’07
VIENNESE QUARTETS (KV387 - 421)

String Quartet No. 13 in D minor, K. 173

 

  • Allegro ma molto moderato 5’44
  • Andante grazioso 3’19
  • Menuetto – Trio 3’55
  • Allegro 3’21

String Quartet No. 14 in G major, “Spring”, K. 387

 

  • Allegro vivace assai 7’42
  • Menuetto : Allegro 8’13
  • Andante cantabile 6’46
  • Molto allegro 5’45

String Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K. 421

 

  • Allegro moderato 7’20
  • Andante 6’42
  • Menuetto. Allegretto 3’45
  • Allegro ma non troppo. Più allegro 8’47
HAYDN QUARTETS (KV428 - LA CHASSE)

String Quartet No. 16 in E-flat major, K. 428

 

  • Allegro non troppo 7’00
  • Andante con moto 7’29
  • Allegretto 5’50
  • Allegro vivace 5’25

String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat major, “Hunt”, K. 458

 

  • Allegro vivace assai 8’30
  • Menuetto. Moderato 4’00
  • Adagio 7’12
  • Allegro assai 4’33
HAYDN QUARTETS (KV464 - DISSONANCE)

String Quartet No. 18 in A major, K. 464

 

  • Allegro 6’31
  • Menuetto. Moderato 5’44
  • Andante 12’35
  • Allegro non troppo 5’25

String Quartet No. 19 in C major,“Dissonance”, K. 465

 

  • Adagio – Allegro 10’43
  • Andante cantabile 6’53
  • Menuetto – Allegro 5’42
  • Allegro molto 5’53
QUARTET HOFFMEISTER, KV499 / PRUSSIAN QUARTETS N°1, KV575

String Quartet No. 20 in D major,“Hoffmeister”

 

  • Allegretto 9’35
  • Menuetto : Allegretto – Trio 3’07
  • Adagio 7’56
  • Allegro 5’20

String Quartet No. 21 in D major, K. 575

 

  • Allegretto 7’21
  • Andante 4’29
  • Menuetto : Allegretto 5’43
  • Allegretto 5’58
2 PRUSSIAN QUARTETS (KV589 - 590) / QUARTET LODI, KV80

String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K. 589

 

  • Allegro 6’15
  • Larghetto 6’55
  • Menuetto : Moderato 6’41
  • Allegro assai 4’01

String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590

 

  • Allegro moderato 9’02
  • Andante 8’02
  • Menuetto : Allegretto 4’10
  • Allegro 7’50

String Quartet No. 1 in G major “Lodi ”, K.80

 

  • Adagio 6’35
  • Allegro 3’32
  • Menuetto 2’43
  • Rondeau (Allegro) 2’54

 

« EVERYTHING HERE IS LIGHT AND HAPPINESS » - Gramophone

The Talich Quartet strikes the imagination by its luminous beauty and original approach. Mozart has rarely achieved such perfectly-judged fullness or proven so charming and joyful…

« A HEAVENLY BARGAIN, NOT TO BE PASSED UP » - Penguin CD Guide

The performances by the Talich Quartet are immaculate in ensemble and they have a special kind of shared intimacy which is yet immediately communicative. There is complete understanding of what Mozart is trying to say and a warmth and elegance of phrasing which is totally appealing.

 

The Talich Quartet, a Bohemian soul

 

‘The Conservatory of Europe’ – that used to be the nickname of Bohemia. At the heart of central Europe, a people dedicated itself wholly to the art of melody. In the nineteenth century, when Czech musicians were recognised as great composers as well as performers, they gave birth to a repertory steeped in traditions, its inspiration passed on from generation to generation.

 

Václav Talich, a conductor of genius, was one of the most prominent central European artists in the following century. In 1964, Talich’s nephew Jan founded the string quartet that bears his name. In 1975 it became a chamber ensemble of the Czech Philharmonic, a distinction that quickly gained it international recognition. France became its second home, and thanks to the Calliope label it made some of the great benchmark recordings in the quartet discography, from Mozart to Janáček. La Dolce Volta has since taken up the torch and pursues an adventure too exciting to be interrupted.

 

For half a century now, even though the bows have changed hands, the quartet’s personality has displayed marked stylistic continuity: spontaneous expressiveness, delicious unpredictability of attack, telling accentuation of folk rhythms, absolute precision and, equally, a sensation of miraculous fragility. Throughout the years, the Talich Quartet has remained the ambassador of a prodigious musical history, nourished by the memory of the torrents and castles of Bohemia, of tales and legends, and of the passions of the Czech people even before it was established as a nation in the aftermath of the First World War. The quartet’s multi-award-winning recordings mirror their interpretation of Janáček’s Second Quartet, ‘Intimate Letters’: the most enchanting of conversations in music.

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