artistry beyond the notes…

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Mozart in Wallingford

The venue for our concert tonight (16 May) is the historic St Peter’s church, Walingford (Oxfordshire). OxfordshireWallingfordStPeterextmainSt Peter’s was decommissioned in the 1970s and is now a much-loved venue for classical music. Our concert there introduces Mozart in various instrumental guises, starting with the ever-popular “Kegelstatt” Trio, K.498 for clarinet, viola and piano (in which Mozart played viola at the first performance); followed by his Violin Sonata in B flat, K.454 (written for Italian virtuosa Regina Strinasacchi, for the premiere of which Mozart performed the piano part entirely from memory, having not had time to write it out!); and we conclude with the mighty “Gran’ Partita” Serenade, K.361 in an arrangement by C.F.G Schwencke (c.1805) for Quintet.



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Mozart for 2, 3 and 5

We’re very much looking forward to our upcoming concert at St Peter’s Wallingford this Saturday 16 May for Wallingford Chameleon Arts, at 8pm. Our programme explores Mozart chamber music in duo, trio and quintet combinations.

Written originally for violin virtuoso Regina Strinasacchi in 1784, the B flat Sonata for Violin and Piano, K.454 achieves true equality between the players, emerging strongly from a prior tradition of ‘accompanied sonatas’ in which the violin was very much the junior partner. In the premiere of K.454 Mozart played from a piano part that was barely completed with little more than blank staves in front of him on the music desk!

The wonderful “Kegelstatt” Trio, K.498 (1786) for clarinet, viola and piano was also written with particular players in mind. On this occasion, Mozart played the viola, along with Anton Stadler (clarinet), and his pupil, Francesca von Jacquin at the keyboard. Whether the legend is true that it was conceived while playing a game of skittles (hence the nickname), is anyone’s guess. The balance of the forces is certainly very carefully considered, an expressive factor that comes through with greater clarity on period winds, strings and piano than on their modern equivalents.

The origins of Mozart’s famous Serenade, “Gran’ Partita” for 13 winds are less clearly documented. Perhaps it was composed for a benefit concert for clarinettist, Anton Stadler in March 1784; or else for a wedding celebration; or a university ‘Finalmusik’. Even its precise date of composition is a bit of a mystery. In 1805, it was arranged asa “Grand Quintetto” by C.P.E. Bach’s successor as Stadtkantor in Hamburg, Christian Friedrich Gottlob Schwencke. Mozart’s mighty Serenade is no less ‘grand’ in the quintet formation, and forms a splendid finale to our concert.