The Quatuor Mosaïques is an Austrian string quartet, founded in 1987 by four members of the Concentus Musicus Wien, playing on historical musical instruments. They specialize in music of the 18th century and their Haydn recordings have received critical acclaim, including several Gramophone Awards.
The three Austrian musicians and the French cellist Christophe Coin got to know each other in Vienna as members of Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus. With their shared experiences as a starting point, they decided to form a classical string quartet playing on period instruments. The primary aim was not to create the sort of ‘authenticity’ that belongs in museums, but rather to ensure in their work a living link to the great European quartet tradition. Hence an essential inspiration for the group was the Végh Quartet, of which Erich Höbarth had been a member for its last three years.
The ultimate objective of each interpretation must be to reveal the inner spiritual wealth of the music: ‘In a mosaic, every detail is seen to have been brilliantly thought out, yet the eye is also capable of apprehending the picture as a whole. It is the same with music: you have to work on the details, then you have to create the best possible listening conditions, and get the distance just right so that the listener can see how the elements have been put together, and at the same time get a complete view of the work of art.’ (Christophe Coin)
The Quatuor Mosaïques is regularly described as one of the leading string quartets of the present day. This is backed up by its many award-winning performances. The ensemble has received the prestigious Gramophone Award repeatedly for its interpretations of Haydn, for example. It gives concerts with pianists András Schiff and Patrick Cohen, clarinettists Wolfgang and Sabine Meyer, and cellists Miklós Pérenyi and Raphael Pidoux.
In 2006 the Quatuor was invited to Spain to play the quartet of Stradivari instruments belonging to the Spanish Crown. It presented a programme of Cuartetos by Arriaga at the Royal Palace in Madrid, which was subsequently recorded on CD. The Quatuor Mosaïques' very extensive repertoire includes rarely performed works by Pleyel, Tomasini, Werner, Jadin, Gross, Boëly and others, as well as the great names of the classical Viennese repertoire, up to and including Schumann and Brahms. Increasingly it performs works of the early twentieth century, by composers such as Debussy, Bartók and Webern.
The group's first recordings were on the Astree label of Michel Bernstein. The Quatuor’s discography includes works by Arriaga, Beethoven, Boccherini, Boëly, Haydn, Jadin, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert.
- Erich Höbarth (violin, J. Guarnerius filius Andreae, Cremona 1705)
- Andrea Bischof (violin, 18th century French)
- Anita Mitterer (viola, Girolamo Devirchis, Brescia 1588)
- Christophe Coin (cello, C.A. Testore, Milano 1758)
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