String Quartet No. 16 (Mozart)
The String Quartet No. 16 in E-flat major, K. 428/421b, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1783. This is the third of the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets he wrote during his first few years in Vienna and later dedicated to Joseph Haydn.
It is in four movements, with the Minuet third:
- I. Allegro non troppo
- II. Andante con moto, A-flat major
- III. Menuetto & Trio (the latter in B-flat major)
- IV. Allegro vivace
The slow movement "invokes ... the slow movement of Haydn's Op. 20 No. 1. The ostentatious dissonances of its opening almost have an antique flavour, caused by the collision of semitonal ascents and descents, and this strongly suggests the opening subject of the first movement, so surprisingly isolated there." Other commentators hear it as pointing forward to Johannes Brahms.
- Roger Kamien and Naphtali Wagner, "Bridge Themes within a Chromaticized Voice Exchange in Mozart Expositions" Music Theory Spectrum 19 1 (1997): 11 - 12, footnote 12. "An analogous contiguous enharmonic relationship occurs in Mozart's String Quartet in E♭ major, K. 428, first movement."
- Reginald Barrett-Ayres, Joseph Haydn and the String Quartet. London: Barrie & Jenkins (1974): 194. "The music moves from D minor to a restatement of the opening theme in E♭ major at bar 101; this is truly an astonishing modulation, but yet it all sounds perfectly natural and does not seem contrived."
- W. Dean Sutcliffe, "Haydn, Mozart and their contemporaries," chapter in The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet, ed. Robin Stowell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2003) : 197
- Barrett-Ayres (1974): 195. "The second movement in A♭ major is another chromatic masterpiece, with a second group theme which might well have been written by Brahms, and a density of sonorities which might be ascribed to a composer of the mid-19th century."
- Barrett-Ayres (1974): 195
- Barrett-Ayres (1974): 196
- John Irving, Mozart, the "Haydn" quartets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1998)
- String Quartet No. 16: Score and critical report (in German) in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
- Recording by the Borromeo String Quartet from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in MP3 format
- String Quartet No. 16 (Mozart): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
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