Signature 2

The last of the ‘Haydn’ Quartets [K.465 in C] has a nickname: Dissonance.

Why? Well, look at and listen to the introduction to the first movement, below.

C quart

Mozart: String Quartets (DG Collectors Edition), Hagen Quartet

The eye is bewildered by all those accidentals – flats, sharps, naturals everywhere – and the ear! The poor ear, for the first eight bars (at least), searches in vain for a home or at least somewhere to rest. As for the eponymous dissonance, yes, of course there’s oodles of it, but there’s nothing that could shock our, admittedly rather jaded, hearing; and, even for Mozart’s contemporaries, while they may have found this introduction perplexing or bizarre (people still do), the individual clashes would have held very few terrors.

Course materials:

A list of all 23 Mozart quartets plus some other useful bits and pieces:

Quartet List

Cycle of 5ths

Keyboard graphic 2 octaves

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