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Czech-born composer and violinist Václav Pichl (1741–1805) spent much of his working life in Vienna, but also played in a court orchestra under Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf and was a music director in Milan for almost twenty years. He not only impressed the Empress Maria Theresa, who preferred him to Mozart, but also Joseph Haydn, who had a set of his “new quartets” copied in 1780.
This second volume in the series of his Op. 13 quartets exploits each instrument equally — even the viola is allocated elaborate solo passages — and offers an attractive alternative (as Haydn realised at the time) to the standard Viennese works of this period.