Sorry for the very late reply but, having long been excluded from this forum (for purely technical reasons) only now have I found a (albeit inconvenient) mode of circumventing this.
I've found that all I had to do was click on "disable rich-text". No idea what that means but it works, after a fashion. Please note there's another post of mine just before this, in case it's missed due to the new page.
Who decides what is tolerable here?
I skip over what I'm not interested in. Why couldn't you do the same?
I'm very glad that we converge slowly and gradually on the "two and half" contentious String Quartets.
Very quickly, the K.406 is not simply a successful or "skilled" transcription; it's a very inspired one which gives an enhanced level of profundity in the work. The use of the five String instruments is unique and truly gives to this immense masterpiece more than you could expect from a (former) serenade.
As for the First String Quintet, I challenge you to find anything of this quality (in musical terms) in Mozart's output, not only in his youth, but also in his early maturity. The size and the development of the work is outstanding even compared to most of his Chamber works, like his String Quartets. Check the First movement's abundance of themes and the huge and quite complex development section. It's hard to find anything like that even in the mature String Quartets. It's more developed than the one of K.614.
Besides, check the quite dense and extremely demanding Finale. A more developed and extremely skillfully crafted movement than the last movements of K.593 and K.614! An amazing, very virtuosic and inspired movement that requires repeated listening to start realising what's going on there, in such a tour de force.
Finally, Mozart was such a natural composer compared to Beethoven. So, any comparison to the youth of the latter vis a vis to the former is unfair to both of them. Even in his very youthful compositions, the genius of Wolfgang was obvious and in abundance. Structurally, he may not been so advanced, but, if he wanted, he could so easily perform miracles. Beethoven had to struggle. That's why his "early" works do not differ that much compared to "middle" or even the "late" ones.
Anyway, we may agree that the First String Quintet in B flat is the best and the greatest work of Mozart's youth. Something that is not a small accolade.
I meant it was intolerable for me, which was why I did indeed skip over, or skim through, many of the longer posts, especially the ones quoting from weighty philosophical tomes.
As for the First String Quintet, I challenge you to find anything of this quality (in musical terms) in Mozart's output, not only in his youth, but also in his early maturity.
I suppose it depends what you mean by "early maturity" but the Haffner Serenade, the "Jeunehomme" piano concerto and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin & viola, to name three that immediately spring to mind, I would say come into that category. All these works are, for me, considerably better than than the B flat quintet.
Guillaume, when we compare works in a genre we cannot bring on the table Serenades, or Concertos (or Operas), since their genres require a different structure, orchestration and compositional layout. I meant and I gave references to other Chamber works (like even mature String Quartets, the last movements of the last two String Quintets and so on).
To sum up: It's hard to say whether Don Giovanni is a better work than Mozart's 40th (both in g minor, by the way).
What - all of Don Giovanni is in G minor? News to me.
Neither all of Don Giovanni nor all of the 40th are in g minor. When we say a work is in this or that tonality has to do with the one that starts and finds its resolution at the end (the minor mode can be resolved in the major as well). Don Giovanni starts in g minor, which dominates some critical points of the work, including its resolution.
Don Giovanni starts in D minor, which is also the key of the opera's climactic scene, the (anti-)hero's descent into hell.
You're correct, Guillaume. The Overture starts in d minor and finishes in D major. The g minor has been connected with some critical parts of Don Giovanni's presence in the Opera. The Finale also uses the d minor-D major resolution.
Priceless! One just couldn't make this up.
So let me make sure I've got this right: the 40th symphony and Don Giovanni are both in G minor, apart from Don Giovanni which is in D minor.
What would we do without Parla's wisdom?
Parla, I'm glad to know that you've got so much passion towards Mozart's Quintets, as so do I. Let me encourage you to listen to period-instrument ensembles such as the Salomon Quartet and -my favorite- the Kuijken Quartet, both ensembles play on gut-stringed instruments and the tuning is the one used by Mozart, believe me: the sound is DIFFERENT, the best experience you can get, you won't go back to romanticized versions.
Note: I am not saying that romanticized versions are bad nor this is the place for a debate on it, just take my suggestion and judge for yourselves, you can't regret it.
Cheers! Once you love Mozart's Chamber Music you can consider yourself a member of the musical elite of the planet.
Welcome, Figaro, to the forum.
I know the versions you mentioned. I can assure you I can live with both of them (modern and period instruments). I do not have to exclude one for the other. Personally, I really love the Fine Arts Quartet on Lyrinx more than any other group, but that is my preference based on my personal approach to the works.
As for your last paragraph, be very careful and mindful: the word "elite" is a sort of anathema here.