Mozart - Prussian String Quartets (2017)

Mozart

Engegard Quartet

From the time they began playing together, the members of the Engegård Quartet have worked with Mozart’s string quartets. Now, ten years later, the results can be heard on the quartet’s first release on the LAWO Classics label. 

The album features the three “Prussian Quartets”, the last that Mozart wrote, in 1789 and 1790. The nickname comes from King Frederick William II of Prussia, to whom Mozart had intended to dedicate the pieces — a plan not realized when they were published. 

There is some doubt as to whether it was really the King who commissioned the works, but Mozart had him in mind in any case when he wrote them. And to make them appealing to the King, who was a competent cello player, special attention was paid to the cello part. 

This music is, however, not only about the cello. The quartets are intricately structured to provide room for all four parts and allow them all to enjoy equal prominence. 

Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, the Engegård Quartet has rapidly become one of Norway’s most sought-after ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted international acclaim and inspired some innovative partnerships and programming.

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Engegard Quartet

Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, with Arvid Engegård and Alex Robson on violin, Juliet Jopling on viola, and Jan Clemens Carlsen on cello, the Engegård Quartet is one of Norway's leading chamber ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted international acclaim, and inspired some innovative partnerships and programming. The quartet’s debut album was praised as ‘breath-taking’ in The Strad, while their second release won Pizzicato magazine’s ‘Supersonic Award’. More recently, a album of works by Grieg, Sibelius and Olav Anton Thommessen was praised by Tully Potter in Music Web International as ‘what Grieg lovers have been waiting for’. The Engegård Quartet has a busy concert schedule throughout Scandinavia and further afield. They have performed in some of Europe’s finest venues including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Prague’s Rudolfinum, and last year traveled to South America for concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. Festival performances include the Delft Chamber Music Festival, SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, and Heidelberg’s Streichquartettfest. Members of the quartet are also deeply involved in bringing superb chamber music to Norway – Arvid Engegård as founder of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, and Juliet Jopling as artistic director of the Oslo Quartet Series. The Engegård Quartet has had the honor to work with (among others) András Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Emma Johnson. They also love to collaborate with colleagues from different musical traditions, including a folk/classical fusion with hardanger fiddler Nils Økland, and a program of Ibsen and late Beethoven with actor Bjørn Sundquist. Future plans include a new work written by and performed with jazz violinist Ola Kvernberg and an annual ‘mini-festival’ focusing on one composer each year, starting with Schumann. ‘Schumann 1-2-3’ is scheduled and promises to be a feast of chamber music, song, piano works, poetry, discussions and lectures. The Engegård Quartet is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council. foto: Espen Mortensen
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Mozart - Prussian String Quartets (2017)

Mozart

Engegard Quartet

    KlassiskCD

"Engegård Quartet has played string quartets by Mozart throughout their history. It shows! The Prussian String Quartets are the last three quartets composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). It is the music that has been recorded by the Engegård Quartet on this album. The three quartets show how formidable Mozart's writings were the last years of his life. The compositions gives musicians the opportunity to shine. And so do the four musicians on this album. There's something harmonious of the playing on this album. The whole thing becomes an organic musical experience. The music and the musicians come to a common place that is just so right. When a listener plays this album, they are struck by the homogeneity of the Quartet and the delicate music being conveyed. The quartet has simply put Mozart's music forward in an outstanding manner. All three quartets are extremely beautiful. It's something for listeners to simply sit back and enjoy. PS! The album booklet's text is very good and enlightening. Written by Morten Carlsen from the Norwegian Academy of Music it's well worth laying eyes on."

Trond Erikson[read full review]

Mozart - Prussian String Quartets (2017)

Mozart

Engegard Quartet

Producer: VEGARD LANDAAS
Recording Engineer: THOMAS WOLDEN
Recording location: SOLSIDEN CHURCH, FREDRIK
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD128

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LWC1123: Mozart - Prussian String Quartets
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Tracks.
1.
String Quartet No. 21 in D major. K. 575 - I. Allegretto
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2.
String Quartet No. 21 in D major. K. 575 - II. Andante
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3.
String Quartet No. 21 in D major. K. 575 - III. Menuetto allegro
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4.
String Quartet No. 21 in D major. K. 575 - IV. Allegretto
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5.
String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K. 589 - I. Allegro
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6.
String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K. 589 - II. Larghetto
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7.
String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K. 589 - III. Menuetto moderato
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8.
String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K. 589 - IV. Allegro assai
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9.
String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 - I. Allegro moderato
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10.
String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 - II. Andante
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11.
String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 - III. Menuetto allegretto
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12.
String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 - IV. Allegro
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