4 by 2 OR THE BEQUEST OF BRUCH/Unsolicited music

July 17, 2024 7:00 pm | Central Military Club

Mozart & Bruch

Mozart & Bruch

Mozart was a parent in several senses of the word, not only to his physical offspring, but also of an entirely new genre of chamber music, that of the piano quartet - the extravagant combination of a string trio with basso obligato, of chamber depth with concert splendour, and of polyphonic complexity with virtuoso bravura. His two quartets K.493 and K.478 are the first to embody this precise combination  as a new kind of ensemble interaction. Commissioned by Hoffmeister, the quartets remain - alas - only two in number, instead of the intended three, due to the publisher’s claim the music was too complex. Hoffmeister may have been voicing the complaints of his ‘clientele’, admittedly an enlightened group, yet sadly perhaps not sufficiently so. “They do not wish to buy them,” Hoffmeister wrote to Mozart. We, however, are willing to listen to them, with excitement and interest!

It is not difficult for Max Bruch’s Octet to arouse interest - least of all because it is the modest German maestro’s last creation. Skillfully embracing the string ensemble, the octet - no, a double quartet! exudes a peculiarly sunny propriety, the last drops of romanticism gently imbued into a score written in a moment when the musical world had been utterly changed and hostile to such music. This is a chance to listen to Bruch’s legacy - and hear what it has to say to us with its resigned purity, its settled urgency, its belated beauty.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Piano Quartet in E flat major, K.493

Max Bruch (1838 - 1920)

String Octet in B flat Major, Op. posth



Festival Pass 160/200/240lv.

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60 min