Violins: Felix Galimir & Isidore Cohen Viola: John Graham Violoncello: Gerald Appleman Contrabass: Richard Beeson Clarinets: Peter Simenauer & Joseph Rabbai Horns: Virginia Benz & Robert Johnson
“The Divertimento in E-flat major, K. 113, was given the double title ‘Concerto or Divertimento’ by Mozart. It exists in two different versions: the original, recorded here — written in Milan in November 1771, for strings, two clarinets, and two horns — and the Salzburg transcription, made in approximately 1773 — which substitutes pairs of oboes, English horns, and bassoons for the clarinets and horns. (The revision was probably made because there were no clarinetists in Salzburg at the time.)
The alternate title ‘Concerto’ reveals one of Mozart’s focal concepts in his occasional music involving strings. The concertante element is either explicit — the wind concertante in the ‘Posthorn’ serenade and the violin concerti in the orchestral ‘Final-Musiken’ — or implied, as is the case here and in the great works for strings with two horns. Though the legacy of the concerto grosso is obvious, performance with multiple strings is not inevitable. (It is clear, for example, that Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto was performed by single players.) In orchestral performances, a continuo harpsichord would be entirely appropriate.
The concertante wind writing is the salient feature of K. 113. Increasing independence of the wind parts from the supporting strings as the work progresses points to the many subsequent works for winds alone. The musical ideas are characteristic of Mozart’s Italian period — catchy and terse. (Compare the symphonies from the same period, the quartet divertimenti K. 136-8, and the four-hand piano sonata in D, K. 123a/381.) Unlike most of the occasional music, K. 113 has but one minuet, making it identical in form to a symphony, if lighter in content.” – Robert D. Levin
Painting: Dancing Children, Lorens Pasch the Younger