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Hoffmann: Mandolin Quartets

Hoffmann: Mandolin Quartets

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There is still much we do not know about the veritable mandolin-mania of late 18th-century Europe, particularly Vienna, which in that period was home to the three greatest musicians of the Classical period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The instrument certainly enjoyed dazzling success in Viennese musical circles, embraced by the cultured aristocrats who resided in the Habsburg capital, and its meteoric rise was supported by some extraordinary virtuosos who helped promote its high-quality and fast-growing repertoire.
Giovanni Hoffmann’s refined chamber music featuring the mandolin was warmly received among the Viennese elite, making him one of the foremost figures behind the burgeoning mandolin repertoire of late 18th-century Vienna. Very little is known about his life; the Italianate first name alongside a clearly central-European surname adds to the mystery shrouding his birthplace and sphere of education.
Hoffmann was both a mandolin virtuoso and an esteemed composer. In 1799, the music merchant Johann Traeg advertised a list of the mandolin scores available to purchase from his shop on Vienna’s Singerstraße. It included a Trio for mandolin & bass by Hoffmann, and that same year, the composer released a further number of manuscript works through Traeg including his Quartets for mandolin, violin, viola & cello and
Serenatas for mandolin & viola. Hoffmann’s work is recorded again in Austria in the early decades of the 19th century, but – like his birth – the place and date of his death have not yet come to light. His music, however, lives on, a testament to his talent for composing delightful music in a Classical style evoking the fascinating gatherings of the Viennese literati.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Brilliant Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 5028421971179
    • Item Number: BRI97117