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 Post subject: Mozart - Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:41 am 
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COLONEL
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Adagio - Fuga (Allegro)

The Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546, is a composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for strings. Mozart entered it into his own work catalogue on 26 June 1788 in Vienna as "A short Adagio for two violins, viola and bass, for a fugue which I wrote some time ago for two Pianos". The fugue in question was the two piano fugue in C minor, K. 426, written in December of 1783.

The reason for the work's composition remains a mystery, as there is no known commission for it. One theory is that it was composed on a suggestion by F. A. Hoffmeister, who originally published the work. 1788 was also a time of significant contrapuntal composition for Mozart; in that year he composed a five-part fugue in the key of C major, for the finale of his Symphony No. 41 K.551, so possibly fugal ideas were prominent in Mozart's mind at this time.

Wikipedia

As noted the original scoring was for violins, viola and bass, in modern times the work is either performed by a standard string quartet or by a string orchestra. It was one of the works performed at the funeral of Herbert Von Karajan. The opening adagio is described as a forbidding opening to the geometric perfection of the fugue.

I have managed to locate several performances of the work by string quartet.

Cézanne Quartet


Quatuor Debussy


Kontras Quartet


Mucha Quartet

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 Post subject: Re: Mozart - Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:52 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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I've played the video featuring the Cézanne Quartet and thought it was a pretty good rendition, especially considering the strange noises that seemed to be going on in that venue (repetitive tapping, baby crying etc.). A few thoughts have come to mind but I'll wait until I've played the other vids before I publish and be damned.

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 Post subject: Re: Mozart - Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:28 pm 
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JOVE THE MIGHTY THUNDERER
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I didn't find the other videos added anything in particular to the Cézanne Quartet's rendition which is why I guess it was placed first amongst the offerings, certainly this was the one vid I felt inclined to go back to. The piece itself is peculiar, the adagio is theatrical, it would not sound out of place opening an opera seria act, but the fugue is something different. Immediately you can tell this is going to be an intellectual affair, a "difficult" fugue to use my own parlance. Alas even with such intellect the composer has to remember that this is still music and Mozart's effort is lacking for me in that respect. It's impersonal, almost atonal in its presentation. It's a quirky fugue subject but it is at the same time aggressive and angular, lacking for example the genial wit of Beethoven's quintet fugue Op.137, or the rhythmic drive and tension of the fugue ending of B's cello sonata Op.102/2. So where is the music in this fugue? It would not surprise me if the piece was composed as an exercise or a demonstration piece if some sort, in what case the above might be explained. But whatever I would have advised Herr Mozart in this instance to write the fugue in the major key and all could (possibly) have been rosy!

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