Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mozart goes postal

Mozart's Serenade in D Major K. 320 is nicknamed the "Posthorn" Serenade, but most of its length comes pre-posthorn. When the posthorn finally does make its appearance, in the second trio of the second minuet, the piece has already been carrying on delightfully for 35 minutes or so. Still, it is a striking arrival, like passing over a mountain peak and looking down on a spacious valley below. The posthorn may have more of a cameo than a starring role, but it was certainly more than an afterthought; as in the Trout Quintet or the Choral Symphony, the late arrival of the title character seems only to emphasize how its spirit infuses the entire work. The "Posthorn" carries a mood of good humor and well-being, with a certain lightness and buoyancy even in the piece's darker moments.

We'll play the "Posthorn" Serenade on an all-Mozart chamber music concert next Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. I may have more to write about it as the concert approaches.

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