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Flute Quartet #4 in A (K298)







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Flute Quartet #4 in A Major (K298) by W.A. Mozart
Journal pour la Flute #30
Edited for Flute and Piano by Heinz Stolba
Originally written for Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello

According to the latest research, Mozart's fourth and last flute quartet was written during his time in Vienna, perhaps in 17868 or thereafter. It was probably intended for home performance in the family of his friend Gottfried von Jacquin. Mozart made use here in all three movements of the then favoured practice of adapting familiar melodies for one's own compositions. The theme of the variations movement shows marked similarities to Franz Anton Hoffmeister's song An die Natur, the theme of the minuet is an adaptation of the French rondeau Il a des bottes, des bottes Bastien. The rondo theme of the last movement is copied from an aria in Giovanni Paisiello's opera buffa Le gare generose, the year of whose first performance, 1786, pointed to the date of composition of Mozart's flute quartet. The facetious heading of this last movement, Rondieaoux. Allegretto grazioso, ma non troppo presto, pero nontroppo adagio. Cosi-cosi con molto garbo ed espressione (Little Rondo. Fairly lively and graceful, but no too quick, though not too slow. So-so, very graceful and expressive) indicates the entertaining, playfully light tenor of the entire work.

By contrast with the three earlier “Mannheim” flute quartets, the autograph of this one has survived. As regards dynamics and articulation, the present study score largely follows the New Mozart Complete Edition. It should help flautists to enrich their repertoire with this masterpiece of Mozart's chamber music.

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