Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet was completed 2 weeks before his 29th birthday, and along with 5 others was dedicated to his friend and mentor, Haydn. The dissonant, disturbing opening, however, led Haydn to write: “if Herr Mozart wrote it he must have meant it.” Publishers of the day attempted to “correct” the opening, or omitted it. It is rather eerie, almost evil in sound, but at 1:38, the mvmt takes off in a gay mood. Haydn and Beethoven were influenced by this dramatic contrast, learning that discomfort and pain could be new ways to accent the beautiful and transcendent. The 2nd mvmt is serene. The 3rd mvmt is in exuberant mood, an elegant dance, before darkening into C minor. The 4th mvmt returns to the ebullient mood and rhythmic vivacity of the opening mvmt.
The Diderot String Quartet uses perod instruments, formed in 2012 after meeting at Oberlin Conservatory and The Julliard School.