Beloved of the Gods

Elaine Siversen
Fine Music (2MBS) (Australia)

One of the most delightful trios of Mozart, combined with melodies from his opera The Magic Flute, and crowned with the second string quartet of the 18-year old Mendelssohn, makes one truly believe that these two composers were indeed blessed with a special gift.

The Dean Emmerson Dean trio—Brett Dean (viola), Stephen Emmerson (piano) and Paul Dean (clarinet)—play Mozart’s Trio in E flat major, K498, known as the Kegelstatt, with a lightness of touch that brings out the intimate atmosphere that Mozart created in this trio composed for performance at home with musician friends.

Following the long tradition of composers arranging operatic excerpts, Stephen Emmerson has arranged four arias and duets of Papageno, Pamina and Papagena for the trio and called it Papamina Suite. Emmerson says of the opera and the Kegelstatt trio, composed in the same year: ‘both works radiate a certain sense of nobility and warmth as well as humour’. This work is a delight!

Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op.13 is played by the quirkily named Tinalley String Quartet. Their rendering of the quartet, which pays homage to Beethoven in many different ways, brings out the various facets of introspection and poetically-inspired lyricism as well as the romantic, ‘elfin-like’ mood of the scherzo which is full of grace and charm.

Melba Records, aiming for the international market with the booklet in English, German and French, is to be commended for showcasing these excellent Australian musicians.