Divertimento in E-Flat Major, K. 166/159d
II. Menuetto and Trio
III. Andante grazioso
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born: January 27, 1756, Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791, Vienna, Austria
Instrumentation: Wind Dectet
Duration: 11 minutes
This chamber work, typically known as one of Mozart's "Milan divertimenti," is one of the composer's first works for winds, written with an accompanying twin work, the Divertimento in B-flat Major, K. 186/159b. The instrumentation of this wind dectet, which features two oboes, two English horns, two clarinets, two bassoons, and two horns, leads many scholars to believe that the work was written on one of Mozart's three visits to Milan, based on the fact that he did not have access to clarinets, or skilled players, in his home city of Salzburg. Additionally, he had also previously written for clarinets on an earlier trip to the Italian city (Divertimento K .113). According to the Neue Mozart Ausgabe, this pair of divertimenti may have been commissioned by Grand Duke Leopold I of Tuscany, a potential yet unsuccessful source of court employment for the composer.
Like its twin work, the aforementioned Divertimento in B-flat Major, the Divertimento in E-flat Major begins with an opening Allegro, followed by a Menuetto and Trio, in this case featuring a coda, an Andante, here marked Andante grazioso, a penultimate Adagio, which forgoes the convention of an additional minuet that typically bookends the andante, and a final Allegro in rondo style.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Divertimento in E-Flat Major, K. 166/159d
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