Any of my long-term readers know that the Hagen String Quartet is my favorite chamber music group. When they last appeared for a concert in Carmel, California, I met all of them personally. I also published an interview with them. Search for it at my Blog.
This is the group’s first recording for 2016, and it also features the collection of four Stradivari matched instruments that the Quartet now plays, on loan from a foundation.
- String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K387 ‘Spring’
- String Quartet No. 17 in B flat major, K458 ‘The Hunt”
The two string quartets K.387 and K.458 belong to the group of six so-called “Haydn Quartets”. Mozart dedicated these works to his fatherly friend Joseph Haydn.
After an extended tour performing Mozart quartets, the Hagen Quartet went into the recording studio for this new rendition of these two works. This is also the Hagen’s first recording using the ‘Paganini Quartet’ – the only complete set of Stradivarius instruments known to exist today. All four were once owned by Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840).
Here is the first movement of Mozart’s quartet K. 458, performed by the Hagen String Quartet: