This new release highlights some of Mozart’s lesser-known works, all for string trio: the Divertimento in E flat major, KV 563 and two of the Fugues with slow Preludes from the set of six, KV 404a (after Bach). The Divertimento, KV 563 is not only Mozart’s sole large-scale composition for string trio, it is also one of the first works ever written for the combination of violin, viola, and cello. It was composed in 1788, the same year as three of Mozart’s greatest and best-known works, the symphonies in E flat, G minor, and C (the ‘Jupiter’). Mozart was at the absolute height of his powers as a composer, and at the premiere of the divertimento in Dresden in 1789, he himself played the viola part.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Ensemble, a group of principal players from the SCO, perform a selection of Mozart's chamber works written for smaller forces. This intimate performance showcases the wealth of talent present in this multi-award-winning orchestra
Considering that Mozart's Divertimento in E-flat is far and away the greatest string trio ever written, and one of the unquestionable monuments of chamber music generally, it doesn't get the attention that it surely deserves from either record labels or collectors. Perhaps the dearth of regularly constituted string trios (as opposed to quartets) has something to do with it, but the fact remains that there is no greater testament to Mozart's genius than this epic, nearly 50-minute-long masterpiece in six movements that contains not a second that fails to rise to the highest level of textural gorgeousness and supreme melodic inspiration. Happily, most performances understand how special the music is, and give it their best effort. This one is no exception. The Zimmerman Trio plays with remarkably accurate intonation and a ravishing tone that's also mindful of the Classical style. Schubert's single-movement trio makes the perfect coupling. It seems to grow right out of the Mozart until the end of the exposition, when Schubert suddenly sails in with some typically arresting harmony.
The SCO's second Serenades disc includes the Serenade in D, Serenade K.203 and Divertimento K.251
Here's a piece you don't often hear performed in concert: Mozart's Divertimento in B flat major, K. 254 (aka, his Piano Trio No. 1). While the other five works in the same form are performed frequently by virtue of their later date of composition, the early Trio No. 1 is not only rarely performed in concert, it's usually recorded only in context of all the other trios. And so it is here: Trio No. 1 leads off this 2007 Hyperion disc by England's Florestan Trio, and, naturally, it is followed by two later trios – No. 2 in G major, K. 496, and No. 5 in C major, K. 548.
The Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, K. 525 was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1787. The work is more commonly known by the title Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The German title means "a little serenade", though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as "a little night music". The work is written for a chamber ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass, but is often performed by string orchestras…
"…In short, this CD is a delight from begin to end. It will make you want to see and hear the two pieces performed live because only then can one fully enjoy the virtuosic playfulness and beauty of the musical interchange between the two pianos in the Concerto in E flat major; not to mention the pure divertimento of the Concerto in F major, which is a recreational, uplifting and entertaining." ~musicweb-international
…With a bright tone, buoyant tempos, piquant intonation, effortless ensemble, and relaxed virtuosity, the 12 musicians of La Petite Bande play together with exactly the kind of elegant brilliance and elevated intelligence the music requires. Under Kuijken's hands, these works, composed by the teenage Mozart, sound fresh, witty, tender, and altogether endearing. As delightful an addition to any Mozart shelf as it would be a welcome relief from the spiritual rigors of Bach's cantatas, this disc will please just about every classical enthusiast, especially in Accent's clear, deep 2006 digital sound.