John Irving's Mozart: The ’Haydn’ Quartets PDF

By John Irving

This booklet is a advisor to Mozart's six most renowned string quartets, devoted to his buddy, Joseph Haydn. as well as offering a whole synopsis of every quartet this ebook examines the song relating to Mozart's previous quartets, considers the genesis of those six items and charts their reception via a extensive variety of assets: letters and diary entries, modern feedback and early biographies.

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Although Mozart did not specify ‘affetuoso’ in his tempo heading, melodies such as that for the first violin at bars 7–11 or that for the cello in bar 18, against a throbbing chordal accompaniment, clearly call for that quality in their execution. Every bar is governed by precise dynamic or articulation marks which require careful attention from the players. The opening theme, for instance, depends as much upon the contrasts of piano and sforzando, legato and staccato for its effect as upon the actual pitches.

Beginning at the upbeat quaver to bar 11 is either a second subject (bars 106–145 are more melodic than anything else before the double-bar)—in which case there is no separate transition (the imperfect cadence on E flat in bar 10 being followed abruptly by the secondary theme in the dominant)–or it is a long transition section–in which case there is no clearly defined second subject. Nineteenth-century sonata form prescriptions require both elements. Either of the two schemes would be satisfying within eighteenth-century understandings of the form, since bars 1–35 outline the expected contrast of tonic and dominant keys, the keys being more fundamental than their thematic expression (which is not especially strong at any point).

Since the pace is so slow, it is appropriate to count in crotchet beats rather than bars. In addition to the restatement of the opening theme in bars 5–6 (which features a half-bar displacement) and any sequential repetitions, there are at least six distinct ideas within these fourteen bars, of which three are encountered in the first four bars. If one allows for the subdivision of the theme beginning in bar 7 into three discrete components, each with its own characteristic rhythmic or accentual profile, the number of ideas multiplies still further.

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