Please Don't Let Them Play Mozart! Vol. 3: J. C. Bach, Quartet in F major, WB 54
This series seeks to provide an alternative to the much-abused works of Mozart as played by developing string quartets. Pieces are technically more forthright, requiring less finesse while still offering an opportunity to learn characteristic phrasing and elements of bow control needed in Classical-period music. J. C. Bach was the youngest son of J. S. Bach, and wrote in a lyrical and galant style. This two-movement quartet is typical of many Classical period pieces. It can also be played as a flute quartet (flute plus string trio). As such, the second violin part actually requires as much or more skill than the first violin. The first movement features the viola in the tune as much as the 1st violin. The second movement is a Theme and Variations with a variation spotlighting each member of the ensemble (tricky 2nd violin solo!) This is an elegant and unusual quartet.
Videos of the quartet's two movements below.
Movement 2: Minuetto di Variatione