Beloved of the Gods

Jean-Jacques Millo
Opus Haute Définition (France)

The Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano in E flat major, K498—the so-called ‘Kegelstatt’ —was composed just after the creation of the opera Le Nozze di Figaro, in 1786, according to the autograph score. The commentator Jean-Alexandre Ménétrier says that Anton Stadler (the clarinettist to whom Mozart would, a little later, dedicate his Quintet and Concerto), Michael Puchberg, and his friends, the Jacquins, who welcomed Mozart to their home. He wrote for them several divertissements, of which the Kegelstatt Trio—named thus, it is traditionally said, because it was written during a game of Kegelstatt (skittles) in the Jacquins’ garden. The String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13 (composed in 1827) is directly linked to Beethoven because Mendelssohn had just learnt of his death when he wrote it. The former’s song ‘Ist es wahr’—the name now linked to the quartet—‘provided the theme’ said Mendelssohn. You will recognise it in the music of the first and last movements, but he [Beethoven] can be heard throughout the work.’ The Dean Emmerson Dean trio (Brett Dean, viola; Paul Dean , clarinet; Stephen Emmerson, piano) first came together in 1993. They present a beautiful reading of the trio in which the work’s luminous qualities are just right. It’s the same for the young Tinalley Quartet whose engagement is not the only attribute they bring. Rounded out with the Pamina Suite, an arrangement by Stephen Emmerson of themes from The Magic Flute, this recording is much more than a curiosity.