Australian Haydn Ensemble

Friday, 3 April 2020 at 8pm

Skye McIntosh (Violin and Artistic Director), Simone Slattery (Violin), James Eccles (Viola), James Bush (Cello) and Carla Blackwood (Horn)

 

Tickets for this concert can be purchased in advance

 

 

Programme

HAUFF Horn quintet in E-flat major

Michael HAYDN Romance in A-flat major for horn and string quartet, MH  806 (after W.A. Mozart Horn Concerto K 447)

MOZART String quartet no 17 in B-flat major, K 458, Hunt

INTERVAL

Joseph HAYDN String Quartet in D minor, Op. 76 no 2, Hob III:76, Fifths

MOZART Horn quintet in E-flat major, K 407

About the Artists

Formed in 2011, the Australian Haydn Ensemble is now regarded as one of Australia’s finest orchestras and chamber music groups. The ensemble specialises in music of the Classical era performed on historical instruments under the leadership of Artistic Director, Skye McIntosh. The ensemble has its own highly regarded annual concert season; it tours nationally and has appeared at overseas venues and festivals. Its busy schedule includes recording, regional performances and educational projects.

The ensemble’s concert for Sydney Mozart Society showcases five of its exceptional musicians: Skye McIntosh (violin) Simone Slattery (violin), James Eccles (viola), James Bush (‘cello) and Carla Blackwood (horn).

Read more about the artists.

Programme Notes

With their historical instruments and consummate musicianship, these performers evoke the elegance and radiant character of classical music. Their concert begins with the lush and liquid sounds of the horn in Hauff's horn quintet and Michael Haydn's "Romance". Two equally luminous string quartets from Mozart and Haydn follow. Mozart’s beautiful horn quintet concludes the concert.

MOZART String quartet no 17 in B-flat major, K 458, Hunt

Allegro vivace assai / Menuetto: moderato / Adagio / Allegro assai

Apart from the so-called "Salzburg symphonies", K 136 to K 138, Mozart wrote two major groups of early string quartets.  The first group, K 155 to K 160 (written in northern Italy) and K 168 to K 173 (written in Vienna), were composed within one year: October 1772 to September 1773.  His second major group, consisting of six much more mature works, was composed between the end of 1782 and the start of 1785.  This set, listed in Kochel's first catalogue as K 387, K 421, K 428, K 458 (Hunt), K 464 and K 465 (Dissonance), was published as "Opera X" [ten] by Artaria in 1786 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn.  The "Hunt" quartet is the fourth of these.  This was the first of the Viennese quartets entered in Mozart's own thematic catalogue of his works, where it is dated 9th November 1784.

Haydn influenced Mozart's earlier musical development to a significant degree, a fact acknowledged by Mozart's dedication to Haydn of this set of string quartets.  Albert Einstein writes that the "impression made by the [opus 33] quartets of Haydn was one of the profoundest Mozart experienced in his artistic life. [. . .].  This time, he learned as a master from a master; he did not imitate; he yielded nothing of his own personality".

The musicologist, H C Robbins-Landon, says that "on the whole, the six quartets dedicated to Haydn are even profounder and more accomplished masterpieces than the later three dedicated to the King of Prussia".

The hunting motif in the first movement, from which the quartet derives its name, was quite typical at the time but Mozart put his new experience to good use in its development.  The adagio  movement contains clear pointers to the Romantic era that was to develop shortly, while the main theme of the closing rondo  movement is based on an old folk song which Mozart had already used (in a different form) in the last movement of his E-flat wind divertimento, K 252.  Both the second and fourth movements appear to have preliminary studies in the incomplete minuet, K 458a, and in the fragmentary quartet movement, K 458b, respectively.

Robbins-Landon describes the "Hunt" quartet as "the most popular and, save for the Adagio, the weakest [of Mozart's string quartets] . . . However, 'weakness' in our present context still means genius and mastery".

                                                                                                                            M. C. 

 

Detailed programme notes for the other  works will be available nearer to the concert date.