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With its recordings of Mozart’s string quartets Nos. 14 to 19, the Hagen Quartet exhibits some of the composer’s most refined compositional thinking and a remarkably wide range of emotions. These quartets were composed in the early 1780s and served as a tribute to Joseph Haydn, whom Mozart much admired. The Hagen Quartet is internationally regarded as a leading proponent of the genre, and after more than twenty years in the business, the siblings Lukas, Veronika and Clemens Hagen and second violinist Rainer Schmidt continue to bring an exceptional freshness and passion and an overwhelming sense of commitment to the music they cultivate. As Salzburgers, they have always been expected to play Mozart and these recordings from the 1998 Salzburg Festival show that their interpretations of the composer’s works are marked by great contrast and expression. They refer to the “period” performance style, but avoid the excesses of the “authentic” movement. The combination of youthful verve coupled with an intellectual grasp of Mozart's compositional techniques makes the Hagen Quartet's account of the so-called “Haydn” Quartets an extremely winning set of performances!
W.A. Mozart: The “Haydn” Quartets: No.14 in G major, K.387 “Spring”; No.15 in D minor, K. 421; No.16 in E flat major, K.428; No.17 in B flat major, K.458 “Hunt”; No.18 in A major, K.464; No.19 in C major, K.465 “Dissonance”