He not seldom enriched an ensemble of strings by adding woodwinds and brass instruments, in search for coloristic effects and new sound spectra. Here Mozart for the first time used clarinets. He revised the work a few years later, adding oboes, english horns and bassoons and enabling the clarinets to be omitted. Along the strings with diveded violas there was a flute, an oboe, a bassoon, and last but not least four horns. The horns feature as a solo quartet in several movements and these passages call for very skilled musicians.
Such passages as the slow introduction to the finale, where the seven wind instruments play without strings, must have been a real playground for Mozart to exploring a variety of timbres. In a later stage he transplanted such innovations into his major works, like symphonies.
Another bold experiment, this time limited to a combination of strings, was carried out in the Serenade in D major, K. Exactly one year later, Mozart again composed a winter serenade, this time the Notturno in D major, K.
Nothing is known about a performance of the piece, but it must have been quite an event, with triple echos whirling from one corner of the room to another. Again there are three short movements, but this time the third is a minuet, which is rather unsatisfactory as a finale; it has been suggested that the real finale of this work is lost. One curious piece, composed as early as , preceeds this period and may be regarded as a product of a child, the Galimathias musicum, K.
There are indications that father Leopold Mozart Complete Edition 17 had an active part in the composition, as is suggested by the autograph manuscript in The Hague. The central part of No. Of course Leopold was the brain behind this work. Some months after the first performance in The Hague, the Mozarts had the work performed in Donaueschingen. Movement No. They are worldwide known today as Ein musikalischer Spass and Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Both titels are authentic. Mozart could not suspect that this little Serenade in D major, K.
Mozart only enhanced that it was an unpretentious, short work for five strings written for an special occasion unknown to us and to be performed on a fine summer evening. It was a simple Nocturne, not very different from many other serenades he had written.
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It is, however, not given to an artist to project the future of his creations, that is a task for the general public. The unaffected simplicity of both material and treatment have provided this work a special, informal charm. Most curiously, the Nachtmusik as we know it today is probably incomplete. Possibly there was originally a minuet between the opening Allegro and the Romanze second movement , now lost. Both works were composed in the summer of , when Mozart buried himself in writing the greatest masterpiece that was to leave his hands, the opera Don Giovanni.
When traveling to Prague for the premiere, in October, he was still feverishly composing, and it remains a mystery that he found time and opportunity to compose the two divertimenti that are now so famous. His financial position must have been alarming and these pieces may well have been commissioned by some wealthy person. Ein musikalischer Spass is unique in the history of music. The curious work, scored for string quartet and two horns, is a failed sextet in four movements.
Mozart here ridicules an amateur composer who tries his hand at a work without having sufficient control over the musical grammar and compositional rules and techniques. Time and again the music derails.
There is a chain of uncoordinated passages, broken off fugues, faulty sequenses, annoying repeats, corrupt harmonies, unbalanced cadences, uneven phrases, clumsy instrumentations et cetera. Then of course there is the horror of the final chord of the Presto, which leaves the concert public in laughter, even if the chord is expected. The many defects in Ein musikalischer Spass are on various compositional levels: some are easy distinguishable, others are subtle and hidden.
As always, Mozart succeeds in arousing the interest of both Liebhaber and Kenner, which may called the motto of his musical activities. These were divided into five works of five movements each and named Serenades. The Koechel catalogue lists the first five Serenades being composed in Numbers one to three follow a similar pattern with opening Allegro movements and two minuets split by a slow movement.
The finale is a Rondo.
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These Divertimenti are stylistically related to the Notturni and the first of them has an Adagio movement placed centrally in what can be seen as an extended ternary form style. Most scholars now agree that the final movement here was not actually composed by Mozart but possibly by Anton Stadler, its style and content being more similar to a series of eighteen other pieces for three basset horns which are now in the Bibliothek der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.
The first edition of this work was produced by Simrock after although Koechel lists the date as The third of these Divertimenti uses the same format but again with an Adagio at its centre. Whatever current feelings about the Masonic Craft may be, at that time the Lodges were intent on a furtherance of intellectual and moral ideas, tinged with a certain political agenda.
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In return, Mozart composed several orchestral and choral pieces for the Lodge and in particular concentrated on several pieces for combinations of basset horns and clarinets, instruments played by several members of the Lodge, Anton David, Vincent Springer and Johann and Anton Stadler amongst them. Mozart greatly admired his playing and composed a number of works with Stadler in mind and particularly for his clarinet, which had a special extension fitted that enabled him to play four semitones below the normal range.
The late masterpieces of the Clarinet Concerto and Quintet for Clarinet and Strings are perhaps the best known examples of these dedications. Constanze clearly disapproved of Anton Stadler, whom she had suspected of leading her husband astray during their drinking sessions. Her remarks of show that she still had not forgiven him for his dissolute ways.
The fourth of the Kb Divertimenti differs from the earlier three by placing two slower movements a Larghetto and then an Adagio where the more standard and conventional Minuets had been previously; the remaining single Minuet now being placed centrally and thus returning the formal balance of the pieces. The fifth Divertimento is more problematic in that it appears to be made up of rather disconnected pieces thus: Adagio, Minuet, Adagio, Andante Romance , Polonaise, depending on which publisher is consulted.
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The obvious conclusion is that Mozart had not intended this as a single work but as a set of separate pieces, as indeed they were listed in the original Simrock catalogue. Contemporary practice dictated that sets of such pieces contained six works and this explains why Simrock wished to add a sixth Divertimento to the set. Consisting of arrangements of arias from Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, it is now universally assumed that these arrangements were the work of another composer adding to the popularity of some rather well known melodies.
K in E flat major is dated October and was originally written for clarinets, horns and bassoons, with the oboes being added in July K is in five movements and is the most complicated of the Serenades and Divertimenti marking his maturing as a composer. The opening Allegro maestoso, begins with a typical dotted rhythm interrupted by dissonances.
Next comes a lovely Adagio, romantic and almost operatic, where each voice in turn carries the tune. The second Haydnesque minuet is rather jollier than the first. The final Rondo, like the Adagio, offers each instrument the opportunity to shine and brings the work to a rousing and spirited conclusion. The Serenade K in C minor, is more serious in intent than its predecessor and opens arrestingly with a diminished seventh in its fourth bar similar to that used in the Piano Concerto in C minor K This diminished seventh which seems to pervade not only the first movement but also the Minuet and the Finale, is followed by a sighing motif which begins quietly but assumes a tragic air when the oboe cries out in bar The greatest surprise in this movement occurs at the end of the development section: a diminished seventh followed by a long pause.
Such anguish demands some respite and Mozart provides it in the Andante, calm and in sonata form with a change of scoring for the reprise. Other instruments fill in the harmony but with some jarring clashes. The trio, in a major key, is a cleverly written mirror canon.
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Only with the fifth does a gleam of light appear, but this light is only momentary and by the seventh variation the original tune has all but disintegrated. It is by now clear that the work has strayed far from the traditional concept of the Serenade and the question of its resolution is now begged.
The answer comes suddenly, for the final variation recalls the theme in C major, and at last a happy ending is in sight. The work was arranged as a String Quintet K some years later. It cannot be said with any confidence when this work was composed. Mozart refers to a serenade for wind in a letter to his father dated 27 July Perhaps the combined parental pressure from Leopold and Cecilia Weber resulted in this rather tortured but magnificent work. Both Divertimenti K in B flat and K in E flat were composed for two oboes, two clarinets, two cors anglais, and two bassoons.
K is dated 24 March and the other work is also probably from the same period. It is widely assumed that since the Salzburg Court had no clarinets, Mozart composed these pieces to be played in Milan, from where he returned to Salzburg in March That Spring the Mozart family clearly hoped for an upturn in their fortunes as they moved to larger rooms in Salzburg.
During the summer they travelled to Vienna where they had an audience with the Empress but had to return to Salzburg without a commission. These were not the first chamber pieces Mozart composed for wind as works written in appear to have been lost. The works follow a similar pattern: an opening Allegro followed by a steady Minuet. K has an extra movement placed third Andante grazioso and then in both works there follows an Adagio.
The opening of K has just two sections, recapitulation immediately following exposition. In the Trio of the Minuet there is a charming passage for two cors anglais and bassoon. The Andante grazioso is a rondo in which different combinations of instruments take the theme.