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Thread: Mozart - Choose a favorite among similar works

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    Default Mozart - Choose a favorite among similar works

    I was enjoying Mozart's 2nd Piano Quartet recently and it occurred to me that I couldn't decide which M Piano Quartet I liked more. It's usually the last one I heard. This happens often in many Mozart chamber works in similar, or somewhat similar, subgenres, and it's not unusual that those works were written relatively contemporaneously with each other. I've picked a few examples and I want you to choose your favorite of each duo. I decided to just list a small group of well-known pieces, but I added a couple extra credit duos for our Mozart aficionados. I left out the serenades because of the differences in ensemble size and form.

    1) Piano Quartet #1 or Piano Quartet #2?
    2) String Quintet K515 or String Quintet K516?
    3) String Quartet K458 ("The Hunt/Chase") or String Quartet K465 ("Dissonance")?
    4) Quintet for Winds and Piano or Clarinet Quintet?*

    Extra Credit
    5) Duo for Violin and Viola #1 or Duo for Violin and Viola #2?
    6) Violin Sonata in G (K301) or Violin Sonata in E minor(K304)?

    *As far as I know, Mozart only wrote one mature piece for each ensemble in #4, but they're both top works and feature winds...and I just wanna know what you think.
    Last edited by SearsPoncho; Nov-30-2021 at 02:29.
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

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    1) +2) g minor rules in both cases and my next favorite quintets are the K 593 and 614

    3) neither, rather K 387, 421 or 464

    4) too different for me, both are very unique and the woodwind quintet is more of a chamber piano concerto. Among clarinet quintet and clarinet concerto, I'd clearly take the quintet, among E flat major piano/woodwind quintet and piano/strings quartet, I'd clearly take the former.

    5) pass, I don't know the duets well enough.

    6) K 304 but again rather K 379 or 380.
    Last edited by Kreisler jr; Nov-30-2021 at 14:46.

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    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    1) Piano Quartet #2
    2) String Quintet K 515
    3) String Quartet K 458
    4) I enjoy both, but the Clarinet Quintet is my favorite chamber work of Mozart.
    5) Duo #2
    6) don't care much for either, though I'll give the edge to K 304.

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    Senior Member RobertJTh's Avatar
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    1) Mozart's trademark g minor is always very special so #1
    2) Both wonderful and hard to choose since they're so very different. It's like having to chose between Symphony #40 and the Jupiter (which are also in G minor and C major...) But if I must, then the G minor (in both cases).
    3) Hunt, definitely. Incidentally, I was listening yesterday to the Emerson Q recording of both works, and the Hunt strikes me as a much more inspired opus, the first two movements specially are among the best Mozart quartet writing. The Dissonance leaves me rather cold.
    4) Clarinet Quintet for that hard to describe autumny "smile through tears" atmosphere, that seems adherent to the genre.
    5) those works flew below my radar, I'm afraid.
    6) E minor, but I prefer some of the later ones.
    Last edited by RobertJTh; Dec-01-2021 at 20:37.

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    Interesting that no one has chosen the Quintet for Winds and Piano. I have 4 works tied for my #1 Mozart chamber work: the Quintet for Winds and Piano, both Piano Quartets, and the Clarinet Quintet. If I were forced to choose, #1 would be the Quintet for Winds and Piano. In my opinion, Mozart was the greatest composer for wind ensemble, and the addition of the piano with the winds makes it, well, just scrumptious. Oh, and the music's addictive as hell. If I included the wind serenades, #1 would be the "Gran Partita," but the character and form of the piece, ensemble size, and length presents an apples and oranges situation to the other works, in my opinion.

    Here are my choices (it's favorite among 2 choices, Kreisler, jr.):
    1) Tied, but if forced to choose, it's #1.
    2) K516
    3) "Hunt"
    4) Quintet for Winds and Piano. It's as tough a choice as #1.
    5) Duo #1. Love it! Equality of instruments. The polyphony. Great stuff!
    6) K304. This one can change on a daily basis, but I think it comes down to the 2nd movements.

    For those that haven't heard the Duos for Violin and Viola, here's a great recording #1, which is a gem:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzemq3bpz54
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

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    Clarinet quintet vs. K 452 was also a tough choice for me, but I still prefer K 581 quite clearly. (I thought I had written this, apparently I avoided the decision...)
    They are both unique and not really similar, so I think it was a different case than the other 5 pairs. K 452 is more like a concerto, K 581 highlights the clarinet only discreetly etc.
    As for the two quartets, I liked them 30 years ago when they were probably the first two Mozart quartets and among the dozen or so first string quartets I got to know but I hardly listen to them anymore usually preferring one of the other 4 "Haydn quartets".

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    ! & 2: As for others, G minor rules for me in these particular matchups.

    3: The "Hunt" quartet. I like the "Dissonance" but I love the "Hunt" - a subtle but real difference.

    4: Both very special works but I too would have to go with the Clarinet Quintet, which I have always preferred to the (still wonderful) concerto.

    5: Don't know the Duos well enough to choose.

    6: Of the two given I'd choose the E minor, but my favourite of all the violin sonatas is K454 in B flat.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Today at 12:02.

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