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Haydn and Mozart

Mozart, deeply impressed by a group of Haydn's string quartets published in 1781, decides to write a new series of his own - both to rival and to celebrate the man 'from whom I learned to write quartets'. They are published in 1785, with a dedication on the title page to Haydn 'from his friend W.A. Mozart'.

In their compression and musical daring (the last of them is the 'Dissonance' quartet) these works outdo the master. When Haydn meets Mozart's father, in this same year, he tells him: 'Before God, and as an honest man, I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me in person or by name.' Haydn's own later quartets are, in their turn, influenced by Mozart.

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