Grumiaux Trio: Mozart Divertimento (Trio) K.563

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1. Allegro
"The opening movement,constructed in sonata form, is an Allegro with singing themes, the first of which, a falling E flat major triad, is quite important for the movement's structure. The two main themes do not contrast with each other but are both fluently melodic in character. The development section, extraordinarily rich in complex polyphony and modulation, takes on an uncannily serious air by comparison with the exposition and recapitulation. Apart from one subsidiary theme, almost all the exposition's themes and motifs are exploited." - Alfred Beaujean

2. Adagio
"The following Adagio is one of Mozart's greatest slow movements. The broad melodic spans and long expressive 'breath' almost point to Schubert. Here again the rising cello line at the outset has structural significance later on; it plays an especially important role in the miraculous coda. The central portion of this movement, with its mounting polyphonic and harmonic intensity, is in the nature of a development section." - Alfred Beaujean

00:00 - Menuetto (Allegretto) - Trio
05:50 - Andante
"The first minuet (Allegro) also has its share of 'art'. Its theme, with its assertive upbeats, passes through all three instruments. The trio section emerges as an expansive cello melody which is then taken up by the violin. The variation movement placed fourth (Andante) likewise has complexities which go beyond the corresponding movements in earlier divertimentos. The tune, in popular vein, is immediately varied in the customary repeats of its individual sections and Mozart then keeps to this technique in the succeeding variations as well, producing an inexhaustibly inventive profusion of abundant variation which is highly taxing for the performer." - Alfred Beaujean

00:00 - Menuetto (Allegretto)
05:13 - Allegro
"The second minuet (Allegretto) proves to be more courtly than the first; it offers two trios, one more rustic, giving the viola the leading voice, and one more graceful, putting the violin through its paces. Although it is a rondo, the finale (Allegro) with its mellifluously flowing main theme contains elements of sonata form, including once again an exhaustive and sumptuously fashioned development second. Kaleidoscopically alternating energetic virtuosity with cantabile passages, this movement brings relaxed cheerfulness and airy brightness to round off this masterpiece for 'only three instruments.'" - Alfred Beaujean

Divertimento (Trio) in E flat major for Violin, Viola, and Cello, K. 563 (1788)
Performed by the Grumiaux Trio: Arthur Grumiaux (violin), Georges Janzer (viola), and Eva Czako (cello).

"The string trio in E flat major which poses as a divertimento is related to the social music of Mozart's Salzburg years only in terms of its formal layout in six movements. The work in question is in fact one of Mozart's most mature masterpieces, a piece of pure chamber music intended not for some familiar, cheerfully festive occasion celebrated in grand circles but for a small circle of connoisseurs such as attended the performances in Vienna and Dresden. The elaborate, sometimes polyphonic fashioning of the composition places the work on a par with no parallel in Mozart's output as regards either instrumentation or formal layout. The way in which features of a divertimento loosen up the sonata form is unique. It goes without saying that all three instruments are treated absolutely equally, taking equal shares in the musical activity. In this respect, too, the work maintains the creative level of the mature string quartets and string quintets.