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What Makes It Great? Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet

Monday | March 7 2022 | 7:30 pm

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With host Rob Kapilow & Harlem Quartet
The original listeners of Mozart’s unusual 1785 String Quartet No. 19 in C Major thought the composer had made a mistake. Early publishers even tried to change the harmonically complex intro, believing that it couldn’t have been what Mozart meant. The sixth and last of his quartets dedicated to Haydn, the so-called “Dissonance” quartet begins with what Mozart biographer Maynard Solomon calls “an unprecedented network of disorientations, dissonances, rhythmic obscurities and atmospheric dislocations.” Derided by some contemporary reviewers as “barbarous,” “execrable” and “too highly seasoned,” the piece nevertheless inspired Haydn to call Mozart “the greatest composer known to me.” Host Rob Kapilow teams up with Harlem Quartet to explore this iconic string quartet and unravel the mysteries of Mozart’s famously discordant introduction.

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