String Quartet No. 17 (Mozart)

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 458, nicknamed "The Hunt", is the fourth of the Quartets dedicated to Haydn. It was completed in 1784.[1] It is in four movements:

  1. Allegro vivace assai
  2. Menuetto and Trio. Moderato
  3. Adagio, in E-flat major
  4. Allegro assai

Neither Mozart nor Artaria called this piece "The Hunt." "For Mozart's contemporaries, the first movement of K.458 evidently evoked the 'chasse' topic, the main components of which were a 6/8 time signature (sometimes featuring a strong upbeat) and triadic melodies based largely around tonic and dominant chords (doubtless stemming from the physical limitations of the actual hunting horns to notes of the harmonic series)."[2] According to Irving, Mozart's first intention was to conclude with a polonaise and sketched 65 bars (p. 17).

Its popularity is reflected in its use in various films, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mystery Date, The Royal Tenenbaums and Star Trek: Insurrection.


  1. ^ John Irving, Mozart: The 'Haydn' Quartets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1998): 13. "K. 458 was entered in Mozart's own handwritten thematic catalogue on 9 November 1784."
  2. ^ Irving (1998): 69

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