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Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Viola in E flat K498 ‘Kegelstatt’

Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)

Julian Bliss

Julian Bliss

Composer
Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Composition Year
1786
Work Movements
1. Andante
2. Menuetto - Trio
3. Rondeaux - Allegretto
Artists
Philippe Cassard [piano], Lise Berthaud [viola], Julian Bliss [clarinet]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

One of Mozart’s close friends in the late 1780s was Gottfried von Jacquin, son of Professor Nikolaus von Jacquin, a prominent botanist. Gottfried was slightly younger than Mozart and shared his boisterous sense of humour. He had a fine bass voice and Mozart wrote several works for him, as well as giving him composition lessons, and his sister Franziska was also his piano student. Both Mozart and Constanze, his wife, spent many happy evenings at their house making music, Constanze being a fine soprano and Mozart a tenor. There is a famous humorous trio for Mozart, Constanze and Gottfried and string accompaniment entitled Liebes Mandel, wo ist's Bandel? (Dear little husband, where is the ribbon?). The multi-talented Mozart was also a viola player, and another guest at the Jacquin household was the clarinettist Anton Stadler; so this is doubtless the reason for the unusual combination of instruments in this trio, where Franziska would have played the piano part.

The scholars are a bit snooty about the Kegelstatt (Skittle-Alley) story, suggesting that it was muddled with another incident where the Horn Duos K487 manuscript was dated 27 July 1786 while playing skittles. The Kegelstatt was finished on 5 August, only a few days later, so it seems equally possible that Mozart was going through a skittles craze, and was composing between his turns. At any rate the story suits the light-hearted nature of the music. Nissen, who was Mozart’s biographer and Constanze’s second husband, describes an occasion from 1787: Mozart composed several numbers for his opera Don Giovanni while playing skittles in the garden of his friend Duschek, which lay just outside the city. When it was his turn to play he stood up; but no sooner was it over with than he returned to his work, without being distracted by the talk and laughter of those about him.

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Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Viola in E flat K498 ‘Kegelstatt’

Composer: Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Performance date: Tuesday 1st July 2014
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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Composer Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Work Title Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Viola in E flat K498 ‘Kegelstatt’
Composition Year 1786
Work Movements 1. Andante
2. Menuetto - Trio
3. Rondeaux - Allegretto
Artist(s) Philippe Cassard [piano], Lise Berthaud [viola], Julian Bliss [clarinet]
Performance Date Tuesday 1st July 2014
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:18:06
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Trio
Instrumentation cl, va, pf
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

One of Mozart’s close friends in the late 1780s was Gottfried von Jacquin, son of Professor Nikolaus von Jacquin, a prominent botanist. Gottfried was slightly younger than Mozart and shared his boisterous sense of humour. He had a fine bass voice and Mozart wrote several works for him, as well as giving him composition lessons, and his sister Franziska was also his piano student. Both Mozart and Constanze, his wife, spent many happy evenings at their house making music, Constanze being a fine soprano and Mozart a tenor. There is a famous humorous trio for Mozart, Constanze and Gottfried and string accompaniment entitled Liebes Mandel, wo ist's Bandel? (Dear little husband, where is the ribbon?). The multi-talented Mozart was also a viola player, and another guest at the Jacquin household was the clarinettist Anton Stadler; so this is doubtless the reason for the unusual combination of instruments in this trio, where Franziska would have played the piano part.

The scholars are a bit snooty about the Kegelstatt (Skittle-Alley) story, suggesting that it was muddled with another incident where the Horn Duos K487 manuscript was dated 27 July 1786 while playing skittles. The Kegelstatt was finished on 5 August, only a few days later, so it seems equally possible that Mozart was going through a skittles craze, and was composing between his turns. At any rate the story suits the light-hearted nature of the music. Nissen, who was Mozart’s biographer and Constanze’s second husband, describes an occasion from 1787: Mozart composed several numbers for his opera Don Giovanni while playing skittles in the garden of his friend Duschek, which lay just outside the city. When it was his turn to play he stood up; but no sooner was it over with than he returned to his work, without being distracted by the talk and laughter of those about him.