Mozart: 'Posthorn' Serenade K320, Gallimathias Musicum K32

Mozart: 'Posthorn' Serenade K320, Gallimathias Musicum K32
Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Artist Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice
Vahan Mardirossian conductor
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 97309
EAN code 5028421973098
Release August 2024

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About this release

A diverse survey of Mozart’s ‘occasional’ music, including his grandest serenade as well as one of his earliest and strangest works, alongside two late and powerful masterpieces.

The ‘Posthorn’ Serenade of Mozart has been recorded on many occasions, but perhaps never with such stimulating and contrasted couplings as this new recording from the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under their Armenian music director, Vahan Mardirossian. These forces recently made an attractive album of Mozart’s ‘Lodron’ divertimenti (97307); now they turn to the grandest of the serenades which Mozart composed while still in the service of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg.

The ‘Posthorn’ Serenade dates from 1779, and the harmony of its grand introduction immediately belongs to the richly ambivalent world of mature Mozart. Everything here is calculated to entertain, such as the graceful pairs of minuets, and the extensive ‘concertante’ movement featuring a cadenza for solo winds, but beyond that there is a uniquely Mozartian pathos which emerges most strongly in the D minor Andantino.

Little within Mozart’s output could present a stronger contrast than the patchwork of dances and tunes compiled by the 10-year-old composer while convalescing after a serious illness in The Hague. Commissioned for a piece to celebrate the accession of William V as Prince of Orange, he produced this 17-movement ‘Gallimathias Musicum’. By turn, the album then makes a characteristically Mozartian shift to the grave tread of the Masonic Funeral Music composed in memory of the composer’s Masonic brothers in 1785.

No less imposing in its way is the Fugue in C minor which Mozart originally wrote for two pianos in December 1783. Rescoring it for strings in June 1788, he added a stern and prefatory Adagio. Known as the Adagio and Fugue K546, this has been recorded by forces ranging from string quartet to full symphony orchestra; the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra presents a compelling middle way.

- A substantial part of Mozart’s oeuvre consists of works that may be called ‘entertainment music’. Most of these pieces were composed for festive occasions in Salzburg, such as name days, birthdays and other festivities. There are indications that a number of them were meant to be played out‐of‐doors, in a rustic garden setting with party guests enjoying a drink or a meal. Many of the easy‐going works were labelled ‘Divertimento’, others ‘Serenade’, ‘Cassation’ or ‘Notturno’.
- Mozart's Posthorn Serenade, composed in 1779, is one of his best known and most successful Serenades. The serenade's name is derived from the prominent solo for posthorn, a valveless brass instrument used in postal services during Mozart's time. Its five movements blend elegance with lively rhythms. From the graceful Andante to the spirited Menuetto, it abounds in melodic richness, charm, infectious brilliance and wit.
- Also included in this recording are the lighthearted Gallimatthias musicumKV32, the moving Maurerische Trauermusik KV477 and the Adagio & Fuga KV546.
- Played in Historically Informed Performance Practice on modern instruments by the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, conducted by Vahan Mardirossian.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: I. Adagio maestoso – Allegro con spirito
  2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: II. Menuetto. Allegretto – Trio
  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: III. Concertante. Andante grazioso
  4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: IV. Rondeau. Allegro ma non troppo
  5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: V. Andantino
  6. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: VI. Menuetto – Trios Nos. 1 & 2
  7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade in D Major, K.320: VII. Finale. Presto
  8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: I. Molto allegro
  9. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: II. Andante
  10. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: IV. Allegro finale
  11. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: V. Pastorella
  12. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: VI. Allegro – VII. Allegretto
  13. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: VIII. Allegro
  14. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: IX. Molto adagio
  15. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: X. Allegro
  16. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: XI. Largo – XII. Molto allegro
  17. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: XIII. Andante – XIV. Allegro
  18. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: XV. Menuett
  19. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: XVI. Adagio – XVII. Presto
  20. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Gallimathias musicum, K.32: XVIII. Fuga
  21. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Maurerische Trauermusik, K.477
  22. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546