Mozart’s Flute Quartet in A major opens this French feast of chamber music. Although not written in France, the last movement of this charismatic work contains a French style Rondo highlighting Mozart’s comical reputation with the tempo indication: “not too fast, then not too slow. So-so, with great elegance and expression”.
Lesser-known French composer Hyacinthe Jadin dedicated his first set of three string quartets to Haydn. The Ensemble presents his beautiful String Quartet Op. 3 No. 1. Haydn’s influence is apparent in this delightful and playful work. Following this, the Devienne Flute Quartet Op. 16 No. 3 darkens the tone with its brooding opening movement in B minor.
The turbulent mood continues with Haydn’s Symphony No. 87 in a string quartet arrangement believed to have been penned by Haydn himself. The symphony was part of his commission in the 1780s for the Parisian-based group Concerts de la Loge Olympique.
The program closes with a fittingly French work, Rameau’s Cinquième Concert from Pièces de clavecin en concerts, paying homage to earlier composers Forqueray and Marais.