Notes and Editorial Reviews
After composing his three last symphonies in as many months in the summer of 1788, Mozart started out on another mammoth project – a trio for strings of truly symphonic proportions. This visionary work with its somewhat unpretentious title "Divertimento in E flat major" revealed itself to be the quintessence of everything Mozart stood for as composer, craftsman and dramaturge. With its six movements, a playing time of around 50 minutes and the grandeur of its musical lines it puts all earlier chamber music compositions in the shade. Mozart biographer Alfred Einstein writes: “it is a true chamber-music work and grew to such large proportions only because it was intended to offer… something special in the way of art, invention, and good spirits… one of his noblest works.”
Mozart’s Divertimento K. 563 (in E-flat major) is incomparably the grandest and greatest string trio in the history of the universe. It stimulates just about everyone who attempts it to their best efforts, and I haven’t heard a bad recording. TrioTaus plays the piece with great confidence and that special panache that this musical tour-de-force requires. Their tone is rich, vibrato well controlled but, happily, not absent (especially in the gorgeous second movement Adagio). They also pace the piece effectively, with lithe allegros, flowing slow movements, and aptly dance-like minuets.
Are there any problems? Well, if I had to be picky, I could point to a tendency to smear those chromatic runs in the first movement’s transitional passages, and the horn call that opens the second minuet could sound more “horn-like,” but these are quibbles. More seriously, in my opinion, is the very close engineering, which flatters the instruments but also picks up quite a bit of heavy breathing. This could well prove annoying on repetition. I do wish chamber ensembles would learn not to use their sinuses to keep time. Also, the booklet is printed so as to make the type virtually unreadable. Still, if you end up acquiring this disc you won’t be disappointed.
– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz)