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Quartetto n. 1 in sol maggiore [1814]

Saverio Mercadante

The first of a series of three, the Quartet in G major opens the exercise book from 1814 of the student Saverio Mercadante. Not his first composition for this instrumental ensemble, Mercadante adopts the style of the quatuor brillant in three movements (the first with no tempo marking, but probably an Allegro moderato, a Siciliana and finally a Rondò Allegro) aimed at highlighting the performing skills of the flautist. Less showy in terms of virtuosity compared to his op. 53 completed in 1813, the Quartet in G major nevertheless presents the distinctive features of Mercadante’s technique and taste. This first ever critical edition offers us a taste of the chamber genre, so important in the teaching environment of Naples, and allows us to appreciate the decisive contribution made by Mercadante not only to instrumental chamber music (he also wrote quartets for strings or winds alone), but more specifically to the repertoire for flute.