top of page


A new backdrop for Mozart's
String Quintet in G Minor, KV 516

Back to the roots

Mozart's six string quintets constitute an incomparable corpus of his chamber music that only Schubert and Brahms would manage to equal a few decades later. Mozart found in them an ideal formation in which to express the quintessence of his genius: harmonic complexity, polyphonic richness, care given to the intermediate voices, mysterious lyricism and great storytelling.

The quintet with two violas seems to have been in vogue in Vienna among his contemporaries (Ignaz Joseph Pleyel and Michael Haydn) and yet it had already enjoyed a great tradition in Austria and southern Germany during the Baroque period. Mozart began to use it at the age of 11. Like most instrumental genres of the eighteenth century, it has its roots in the music of the Italian Baroque, which came to the German-speaking countries via the Tyrol and Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace. By appropriating ancient models and integrating an almost hidden tradition, Mozart once again proved to be a genius forerunner.


It is in this history that Ensemble Diderot anchors itself by illuminating the quintet KV 516 with works composed nearly a century earlier by Muffat, Biber and Weichlein. The richness of the scoring - 2 violins, 2 violas and basso continuo - with its many possible combinations - from "double trio" to quartet with soloist - allowed the composers of the time to explore a wider range of sounds and new compositional procedures. Telemann, the magician of instrumentation, bridges the gap between the Baroque and the Classical in this unprecedented journey through 150 years of musical history.

© Edouard Brane 4.jpg



Georg Muffat (1653–1704)

Sonata No. 2 in G Minor  (Armonico tributo, Salzburg 1682)


Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704)

Sonata No. 1 in B Minor (Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum, Salzburg, 1683)

Romanus Weichlein (1652–1706)

Sonata No. 3 A Minor (Encaenia musices, Op. 1, Innsbruck 1695)


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767)

Sonata a 5 in G Minor, TWV 44:33




Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

String Quintet in G Minor, K 516

Adriana González and Iñaki Encina Oyón in rehearsal


Season brochure 

Find more information in our brochure

bottom of page