String Quintet No. 3 (Mozart)

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The String Quintet No. 3 in C major, K. 515 was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Like all of Mozart's string quintets, it is a "viola quintet" in that it is scored for string quartet and an extra viola (two violins, two violas and cello).

The work was completed on April 19, 1787, less than a month before the completion of his stormy G Minor Quintet, K. 516. This would not be the last time that a great pair of C major/G minor works of the same form would be published in close proximity and assigned consecutive Köchel numbers. The following year, the 40th (G minor) and 41st (C major) symphonies would be completed within a few weeks of each other.

This quintet inspired Schubert to write his own string quintet in the same key (his scoring involves two cellos rather than two violas as in Mozart's quintet). The opening theme of Schubert's work retained many of the characteristics of Mozart's opening theme, such as decorative turns, irregular phrase lengths, and rising staccato arpeggios (the latter appear only in Schubert's recapitulation).[1]

Movements[edit]

The work is in standard four movement form, though published with the middle movements in reverse order, the 'scherzo' movement preceding the 'slow' movement:[2]

Mozart's final intentions on movement order are not entirely known,[3] and both orders are common amongst chamber musicians.[4]

The first movement is massive in scope. Indeed, it is the largest "sonata-allegro" movement before Beethoven,[5] usually taking about a quarter of an hour to perform.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Berger, Melvin (2001). Guide to Chamber Music, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-41879-0.
  • Rosen, Charles (1997). The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, New York: W. W. Norton & Co.. ISBN 0-393-00653-0.
  • Rosen, Charles (2003). "Schubert and the example of Mozart", in Brian Newbould [ed.], Schubert the Progressive: History, Performance Practice, Analysis, Ashgate.

External links[edit]