Mozart flute quartet in A major: The history and performance practice


It is commonly thought that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had a distaste for the flute.   This prevalent misconception is held by not merely untrained musicians, and by trained and effectively educated musicians too.   Why for this mistaken thought is due to Mozart’s flute quartets.   He had created a letter to his dad suggesting,

“It is not surprising that I have not been capable to complete them, for I not have a single quiet hr here. I can just write at evening, thus that I can’t receive up early also ; besides, 1 is not usually in the mood for working. I may, to make sure, scribble off aspects for the entire day lengthy, but a composition of the type goes out into the planet, and naturally I never like to have cause to be ashamed of my name found on the title page. Moreover you know that I become very powerless whenever I am obliged to write for an instrument which I cannot bear. Hence, as a diversion I compose anything else. . . .” (February 14th, 1778)

Although this will appear like a letter suggesting how he hated the flute, the fact of it is actually that he was only frustrated with all the condition.   With his benefactor, Willem van Britten De Jean, not paying him the guaranteed amount, and the quartets taking time away from composing his opera, he need been pretty agitated.   These pieces were supposedly just a technique for him to create a dollar for “a Dutchman within the Indies” (the nickname for De Jean) who was an recreational flutist.   The issue is furthermore fueled by the truth that flutes are left from a great deal of his chamber music for winds.   He really enjoyed the flute and wrote a great deal of perfect flute components in his symphonies and different functions.   The concertos and quartets are additionally a few of the ideal music ever created for the flute.   These quartets are among the staples of the repertoire with regards to chamber music created for the flute.   With all of the Mozart charm and flair these quartets are a gem.

The quartet in A was the 4th of the 4 quartets to be created.  It was created in 1786 and is Köchel amount 298.  This Köchel amount is extremely deceiving, because the quartet dates from a considerably later period than its low amount suggests.  The work is regarded as the many straightforward of the quartets.  The others’ creations are somewhat vague.  The work is 3 movements lengthy.  The initial movement is a theme and variations (Andante), the 2nd is a menuetto and trio, and the 3rd is a rondo (allegro grazioso).  The initial movement is a parody work that has various themes that are connected to a limited of Mozart’s neighbors and is believed to be composed for them.  Mozart’s humor comes through in the heading of the 3rd and last movement, “Rondieaoux – Allegretto grazioso, but to not swiftly, nor too slow.  So-so – with desirable elegance and expression.” This translates to, “a joke rondo-allegretto grazioso, but not too quick, nor too slow.  So-so- with superb elegance and expression.” Even the authentic manuscript was recieved by Baron von Jacquin who was a rather close friend of Mozart’s.  These pieces were created for playing in the house instead of for playing found on the big stage.

The initial movement is an andante with a theme and variations on “An die Natur.” “An die Natur” is a song created by Franz-Anton Hoffmeister who was a publisher in Vienna along with a flutist himself.  In truth, Hoffmeister really wrote a flute concerto himself! The Menuetto movement is based on a French folk song, and the last movement is a parody of an arietta from Paisiello’s opera buffa “Le gare generose.” Mozart had heard that in Prague in january 1787.  Another connection to Mozart’s neighbors is tha the arietta was especially associated with Nancy Storace (another 1 of Mozart’s friends) who created the part of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro.

The initially thing that you must consider when you hear to classical music is the performance practice of the time.  There was a means of playing that has been expected of the players of that time period somewhat due to the expectations and due to the limitations of the instruments.  The initial thing that you must do is remember to “decrescendo through the bar.” This signifies that you begin with a big down-bow gesture then continue to decrescendo through the brief words.  You are able to not do this every bar, but for a great deal of the time it is very a certainly amazing method to create momentum along with a sparkle. This practice will have been as a result of the convex bows that violins utilized and automatically built that sound. Another thing you need to pay attention to is the appogiatora. This really is a remnant within the baroque period and has to do with all the convex bows. The appogiatora is where you create the tension with all the leading tone or the upper neighbor tone then releasing it. This equally creates the momentum and drive. It moreover is merely a stunning technique that can definitely set the heart ablaze.

The flutes of the time equally couldn’t a great deal of factors that we do now. One of the many deep aspects is the vibrato. The aged baroque flutes couldn’t do vibrato with all the breathing the same method we could now and was employed as an ornament. Vibrato was built with your fingers virtually like a trill. The baroque flutes moreover had a different range. It just got about a G6 or Ab6. It furthermore got louder in different places than the flute does today (ex. our significant register today is especially loud).

A performance practice that is certain to Mozart is understanding about his character. Mozart was an opera composer at heart and all his music shows this. You are able to feel the thoughts that are brought out in his operas in every these quartets. Each section has it’s own mood and emotion that is portrayed very clearly. Every note is significant. His music equally not enables for imperfections because you may be not capable to hide. Everything is really exposed. If played with all the correct performance practice this music takes on a complete new character that is merely beautiful.

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