In many ways, it seems unfair to call Quatuor Mosaïques a period instrument quartet, though it is perhaps the preeminent period-instrument quartet in the world. Yes, the ensemble uses gut strings on instruments contemporaneous with the works it plays; it has even performed on the Stradivarius collection acquired in the eighteenth century by King Philip V of Spain. But while conserving the authenticity of the past, the Quartet is at the leading edge of new and invigorating interpretation.
In Durham, Quatuor Mosaïques presents a centuries-old conversation between two string quartet pioneers. The ensemble begins with two quartets from Mozart, the vivacious and continuously popular "Hunt," K. 458, and the swooping String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421. Both quartets come from a set of four works Mozart dedicated to Haydn, whose own impeccable series of six string quartets, op. 20, a decade earlier established bold new ideas and conventions for the form. The Mosaïques plays the second of those compositions, expertly navigating its many twists and turns.
Please note that this concert begins at 3 PM.