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Saint Paul SundayFeatured Artist

Škampa String Quartet


  W.A. Mozart
W.A. Mozart

Škampa String Quartet:
Pavel Fischer, violin
Jana Lukášová, violin
Radim Sedmidubský, viola
Jonás Krejci, cello
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  • Discography
  • August 20, 2000 Program
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in c minor, K.546
    Leóš Janácek: Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"
    arr. Fischer/Sedmidubsky: Moravian Folk Tune

    Mozart and the Fugue: Adagio and Fugue in c minor, K. 546
    The music of J. S. Bach - and in particular the fugue, of which he was one of the last exponents - fell into obscurity shortly after his death in 1750, and it was largely through the efforts of a Viennese aficionado, Baron Van Swieten, that Mozart and Beethoven were introduced to the glories of Bach's music. Mozart wrote to his sister in April of 1782:

    Baron van suiten, to whom I go every Sunday, has let me take all the works of händl and Sebastian Bach home, after I played them through for him. When konstanze heard the fugues she fell quite in love with them. She will hear nothing but fugues, especially ... nothing but Händl and Bach. Now, since she had heard me frequently improvise fugues, she asked me whether I had never written any down, and when I said "no", she gave me a proper scolding for not wanting to write the most intricate the beautiful kind of music, and she did not give up begging me until I wrote her a fugue...

    The Adagio and Fugue K. 546 heard on this week's Saint Paul Sunday originally began as a fugue for two keyboards (K.426) that Mozart wrote in 1782. A year later he arranged the piece for strings and added in the adagio - the first of what he intended to be a set of six preludes and fugues to be dedicated to Baron van Swieten. Although inspired by Bach, this fugue is distinctly Mozartian in character in its elaborate, almost harsh chromaticism and its complex inversions and strettos - a brilliant exposition of fugal technique that Beethoven later had copied for his own study. Bach's fugues also inspired Mozart to arrange for strings five different fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and the Art of Fugue, and to incorporate fugal elements into his Requiem ("Christe eleison"). To find out more about fugal techniques and an in-depth look at Bach and the fugue, take a look at Pipedreams' music feature, Bach and the Art of Fugue.


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