Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat major K. 458, nicknamed "The Hunt," is the fourth of the Quartets dedicated to Haydn. It was completed in 1784 It is in four movements:
- Allegro vivace assai
- Menuetto and Trio. Moderato
- Adagio, in E-flat major
- Allegro assai
Neither Mozart nor Artaria called this piece "The Hunt." "For Mozart's contemporaries, the first movement of K.458 evidently evoked the 'chasse' topic, the main components of which were 6/8 tempo (sometimes featuring a strong upbeat) and triadic melodies based largely around tonic and dominant chords (doubtless stemming from the physical limitations of the actual hunting horns to notes of the harmonic series)."
Musicologist Reginald Barrett-Ayres agrees "with Hans Keller when he pronounces K.458 in B♭, the Hunt, the weakest of the six quartets dedicated to Haydn. It is by far the most popular quartet of the six, and in some ways it is the one which is nearest in style to the earlier quartets of Haydn." Its popularity is reflected in its use in various films, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mystery Date and Star Trek: Insurrection.
- ^ John Irving, Mozart: The 'Haydn' Quartets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1998): 13. "K. 458 was entered in Mozart's own handwritten thematic catalogue on 9 November 1784."
- ^ Irving (1998): 69
- ^ Reginald Barrett-Ayres, Joseph Haydn and the String Quartet. London: Barrie & Jenkins (1974): 196