String quartet in E flat major, Op. 13/III
Two violins, viola, violoncello,
edited by Christopher Hogwood
The friends with whom I performed Pichl’s quartet in E flat all commented on its attractiveness and interest, particularly as a result of the challenges it poses. There is a genuine concertante dimension to this music, in which everyone has a time to shine (the cellist has some particularly interesting moments to contend with). According to Hogwood’s excellent Introduction, this is characteristic of all three quartets in the set. The music was compared with that of Boccherini several times during our rehearsals, although Haydn’s music is perhaps the more obvious parallel. Pichl’s style is delightfully inventive.The Consort
Like so many of his compatriots, the Czech-born Václav Pichl spent much of his working life in Vienna (where the Empress Maria Theresa, preferred him to Mozart), but with a period working for Dittersdorf (in what is now Rumania) and nearly twenty years spent in Milan.
His compositions were performed at Eszterháza by Haydn, who had a set of Pichl's "new quartets" copied in 1780 (he wrote over 30 quartets in all).
Op. 13, the present set of stylish and skilfully contrasted works were dedicated to Dittersdorf; they exploit all four instruments equally, even the viola being allocated elaborate solo passages, and offer an attractive alternative (as Haydn himself realised) to the standard Viennese works of this period.
String quartet in E flat major, Op. 13/3 hh196.fsp · ISMN 979 0 708092 67 4 · ISBN 978-1-905779-87-1