First Section AKA Exposition::
1st Theme – m. 1-8
Trans. – m. 9-24 (maybe..?)
2nd Theme – m. 25-41
Second Section AKA Development::
Eb Major – d minor
1st Theme – m. 42-50
Trans. – m. 51-58
2nd Theme – m. 59-70 (return to d minor in second theme)
Third Section AKA Recapitulation
This quartet is a gorgeous work by Mozart in the sonata-form. There is some evidence of imitation (Josquin, anyone?) throughout the parts, as well as the solo line being passed from voice to voice. I love the way the piece moves and flows smoothly. I love the way that the voices fit together and intertwine. In this piece timing is everything; there are many times where a phrase is repeated from the violin to viola to cello to bass, then back up again. I like that tag-team kind of feel.
From the exposition to the development there is a strange change of key, d minor to Eb Major. This is certainly something interesting, and I would love to know what Mr. Mozart was thinking while writing it. Of course he makes a smooth transition back into the heavily embellished recapitulation to the starting key of d minor.
While I really did enjoy listening to this piece and picking it apart, I felt that the repeats could get to be too much. This piece is pretty long as it is, and certainly shows off the performers’ talents, so I feel like the repeat in the recapitulation could be taken out. However that is coming from a vocalist, take from that what you must. I found a recording of it on Naxos by the Klenke Quartet and you can tell how intone with one another they are. It is truly a piece of art and wonderful to listen to. They work together so masterfully, as if they were carrying on a conversation through the music.