Mozart Divertimento no. 6 in C, K. 188

performed by the Consortium Classicum under Dieter Klocker, or below by someone else

(cover image by Alex)

It’s worth mentioning here that what was at one time labeled as Mozart’s fifth divertimento, also in C major, given catalogue number 187, was later shown to be spurious. The composer is unknown, but known not to be Mozart, so we’re skipping it.

There’s also a surprising paucity (as in almost complete absence) of information regarding Mozart’s work here, with one German source saying there’s a pair of flutes and five trumpets, and obviously timpani. The work, as many others we’ve discussed recently, dates from 1773, and is in six very short movements.

  1. Andante
  2. Allegro
  3. Menuetto
  4. Andante
  5. Meneutto
  6. Gavotte

The andante has an unmistakably regal sound to it, but there’s a central passage where the trumpets and timpani disappear to give a more delicate touch to this longest movement of the work, three minutes in the Consortium Classicum recording on Spotify, but half that elsewhere. It sounds downright baroque in the minor-key passage, and one can envision this being stately entrance music for some important event.

This regal pomp hangs around in the following allegro, but is at least more playful. The following minuet is really… so very similar to everything else we’ve heard. How much variety can you squeeze out of a piece for trumpets, flutes and timpani?

The following andante is maybe one of the most promising of all the movements, because it at least allows me to imagine a fuller ensemble, with more balance and color and texture. By the time the second minuet rolls around, I’ve almost had enough of the kingly entrance music sound to last me for another century or so. Thankfully it too is a short movement, and the closing gavotte is more playful and also very brief.

I am not too sure what else to say about this. Was young Wolfie in a bind and needed some last-minute tunes for an event? Was he bored? Is this a collection of sketches? Who knows? There will be more, and better, Mozart in the coming weeks, so please do stay tuned for that, and thanks for reading.

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