String Quartet no 1 in G major, K80 – Mozart

by richibi


        “Mozart (2015) 

             Bernd Luz


Mozart’s First String Quartet, in G major, K80,
is not at all equal to Haydn’s First, then again
Mozart was only 14 in 1770 when he wrote
it, Haydn in his early thirties when he 
composed his, in the late 1750s

the difficulties are flagrant, first of all, starting 
with an adagio is something to avoid, like
falling into your agonies before even saying
hello, it can be entirely dispiriting for your,
however forgiving, audience

unless, of course, the lament is poignant,
unlike here, I thought

the later movements are emotionally 
nearly indistinguishable from each  
other, despite astute changes in 
tempo, that sufficiently differentiate 
the several parts, but one leaves the 
recital, nevertheless, remembering 
nothing, essentially, though not not  
entertaining, the quartet is not 

but listen to his first piano concerto, in
D major, K175, called his Piano Concerto
no. 5 for esoteric reasons I won’t get into, 
he was only 17, and already he entirely 
seduces you, leaves you enchanted

he needs the piano, I think, for the lovely 
musical runs up the octaves he invents,
like birds lifting gently, light as air, from 
their branches, soaring, coasting, 
dipping, dropping, finding a nearby 
branch or eave upon which to rest for a 
moment, and cede to the strains of the 
restless orchestral windsand then fly 
off again, irrepressibly, towards another 
part of its musical wonderland

a string instrument can’t do that for the 
sake of the bow, which doesn’t have the 

Mozart never outdoes Haydn at string 
quartets, though he learnt a lot from 
him about them, Haydn never bested 
Mozart at piano concertos  

R ! chard