Kuijken Piano Quartet

Piano Quartets K. 493 & K. 478

Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917275827
Catnr: CC 72758
Release date: 08 September 2017
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72758
Release date
08 September 2017

"It is an intensely musical performance and all four players show an in-depth understanding of the Classical tradition. Highly recommended."

Music Web International, 21-5-2018

About the album

The two piano quartets, written in 1785 and 1786, are all-encompassing – the appeal of a piano concerto in miniature on the one hand, and the mystery and intimacy of the most heavenly chamber music on the other. Mozart created this genre practically from scratch. Indeed, his treatment of these four instruments as equal partners was unheard of in his day. The silence, both empty silence and full silence, I experience in the slow movement of the second piano quartet, is like a balm, while the intense power of expression of both opening movements leaves me speechless.

Twee pianokwartetten van Mozart
Deze twee pianokwartetten van Mozart uit 1785 en 1786 zijn allesomvattend: enerzijds vormt het een miniatuur van een Mozart pianoconcert, anderzijds bevat het de intimiteit en pure schoonheid van zijn kamermuziek. Mozart was een van de eerste componisten die in het kwartet de vier instrumenten als gelijken behandelde. Door te spelen op historische instrumenten laat het Kuijken Kwartet wederom zien hoe helder Mozarts muziek kan klinken.

Het Pianokwartet K. 478, Mozarts eerste pianokwartet, is een van zijn minder bekende werken, maar zoals op dit album te horen is het niettemin een meesterwerk.

Die beiden Klavierquartette, komponiert 1785 und 1786, sind allumfassend; sie verbinden den Reiz eines Miniatur-Klavierkonzertes einerseits und das Geheimnis und die Intimität der himmlischsten Kammermusik andererseits. Mozart schuf diese Gattung praktisch neu. Seine Behandlung dieser vier Instrumente als gleichwertige Partner hatte es in der Tat zu seiner Zeit so noch nicht gegeben. Die Stille, sowohl leere als auch bedeutungsvolle Stille, die man im langsamen Satz des zweiten Klavierquartetts erfährt, ist wie Balsam, während mich die intensive Ausdruckskraft der beiden ersten Sätze sprachlos macht.


Veronica Kuijken
Veronica Kuijken (b. 1978) has studied piano in Brussels (with Daniel Blumenthal), violin in Londen and Winterthur (with David Takeno and Rudolf Koelman), and has specialised in Zürich for lieder and French song (with Irwin Gage). She performs regularly in recitals with Stephan Genz, Philippe Huttenlocher and Stephan MacLeod. After 6 years as a repetiteur at the cembalo for baroque singing (at the Centre de Musique Ancienne de Genève), Veronica has been engaged since 2004 as a piano accompanist at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne. This has allowed her to collaborate with musical personalities such as Christa Ludwig, Emmanuel Pahud, Sophie Cherrier and Barthold Kuijken.

Sigiswald Kuijken
Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at theconservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latterinstitution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early musicat a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own,he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18thcentury performancetechniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba.This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing theviolin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freelyon the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to theviolin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting inthe early 1970s.

Sara Kuijken
Born in Asse (Belgium) in 1968, Sara Kuijken began her music studies in her home town before going on to study viola with Professor E. Schiffer at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels where she was awarded First Prize in 1989 and the Higher Diploma in 1992, both with distinction. She completed her studies with Professor J. Kussmaul at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, gaining her UM Diploma in 1995.

Michel Boulanger
Michel Boulanger earned the first prize and higher diplomas in cello and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, going on to study at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and regularly participating in masterclasses with Janos Starker and Steven Isserlis. From 1989 to 1991, he studied with Janos Starker at Indiana University in Bloomington where he specialized in historical performance at the IU Early Music Institute. He completed his training in Baroque cello with Hidemi Suzuki in Brussels, earning first prize


It is an intensely musical performance and all four players show an in-depth understanding of the Classical tradition. Highly recommended.
Music Web International, 21-5-2018

...the interaction of the single voices seems like an alert, friendly and heartfelt conversation.
Fono Forum, 13-4-2018

This interpretation is...a masterpiece.
Toccata, 16-3-2018

Sigiswald Kuijken and his two daughters, together with cellist Michel Boulanger, bring with their CD a good example of a 'historically correct' approach to Mozart's piano quartets.
Kerk & Leven, 10-1-2018

GREAT INTERPRETERS: Ivan Fischer, Christoph Prégardien, Kuijken Piano Quartet, Marc Albrecht
Classic Voice, 02-1-2018

These musicians respect all repetitions in the scores.
Klassieke Zaken, 17-11-2017

For about 50 years, the Belgian musician family Kuijken has had its place in the music scene of historically informed performance practice. The new Kuijkens CD deals with Mozart piano quartets.
WDR1, 07-11-2017

Wonderful music by a fantastic family
Kerk & Leven, 02-11-2017

They are not only dynamically equal, beautiful enough, they play all four in the same space, in the same air, the air of Mozart's score.
JUNGE WELT, 01-11-2017

The 'Kuijkens' are assisted by cellist Michel Boulanger in these two piano quartets, but it has become a true 'family affair', that may be clear. A close family by the way, with sufficient musical and technical capabilities to put these two works into the most fancy daylight.
Opus Klassiek, 22-9-2017

A matter of choice? Surely. People allergic to period of all sorts, may opt for the Mozart Piano Quartet on MDG, those who prefer a performance as in Mozart’s time should turn to Challenge Classics. I love it, and will gladly give it all five stars.
HR Audio, 20-9-2017

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