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SACD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Quartets for Piano & Strings

  • Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478
  • Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, K. 493
Mozart Piano Quartet
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9431579-6 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 67m DDD
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Up until 1785, when Mozart published his G minor Piano Quartet, practically all ensemble chamber pieces were written in an extremely light vein and their purpose was just to serve as an accompaniment for an evening's fun and chatter. With the KV478, Mozart made a complete breakthrough and raised the genre of the Piano Quartet to unprecedented heights.

Brilliantly constructed, with a totally new approach, both works on this disc took his audience by surprise, and after their first performance this innovative style was quickly slated as a radical departure from tradition. While retaining the concertante nature of the piano part, Mozart also enhanced the role of the strings giving them equal footing with respect to the piano.

An intense dialogue is never amiss and the result is a variety of combinations and motivic treatments which are quite astounding throughout. Mozart's performers and audiences might have been overburdened but more than 200 years on we certainly can revel in the luscious beauties of these works which remain as fresh and captivating as when they were first committed to manuscript.

The Mozart Piano Quartet displays a technical brilliance that is simply breathtaking and their passion and fervor for this music is consistently spellbinding. This is magical Mozart in superb sound and highly informative annotations.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech