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Piano Quartets (2)


By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano quartet (violin, viola, cello, piano) - Difficulty: medium
(1785-86). Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Piano Quartets. Classical Period. Set of performance parts. 97 pages. Edition Peters #EP272. Published by Edition Peters (PE.EP272).

Item Number: PE.EP272

ISBN 9790014003586. 9x12 inches.

In 1785, Mozart received a commission from the publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister for three quartets of the present instrumentation. The first composed, K478 in g minor, is considered the first major work for piano quartet in the chamber music repertoire. Hoffmeister, unfortunately, considered the piece too difficult for amateurs and feared the public would not buy it; and so he released Mozart from the obligation to complete the set. Happily, however, Mozart composed a second quartet the following year, that in Eb Major, K493.

The publisher's misgivings regarding the g minor quartet were borne out by a 1788 article in the Weimar Journal des Luxus und der Moden:

[as performed by amateurs] it could not please: everybody yawned with boredom over the incomprehensible tintamarre of 4 instruments which did not keep together for four bars on end, and whose senseless concentus never allowed any unity of feeling; but it had to please, it had to be praised! ... what a difference when this much-advertised work of art is performed with the highest degree of accuracy by four skilled musicians who have studied it carefully.

Amazingly to us today, this agrees with the widely held view of Mozart during his lifetime; that of a greatly gifted composer who wrote extremely difficult music.

  • Quartet #1, K. 478  G Minor
  • Quartet #2, K. 493  Eb Major

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  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Difficulty Level:
  • June 09, 2016 Good edition

    parts are well articulated and easy to read

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  • 5

    Dorothy Braker
    New Hampshire
    Difficulty Level:
  • January 09, 2009 A must for any chamber music lover

    What new thing can anybody say about the Mozart piano quartets? They are beautiful. Order them. Make them your own.

    19 of 38 people found this review helpful.
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