artistry beyond the notes…

Mozart for 2, 3 and 5

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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.


Author: ensembledenote

Period-instrument chamber music group specialising in music from the era of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

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