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Divertimento in B-flat major, No. 1

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


This work bears the designation K. 270.


General Info

Year: 1777 / 1961?
Duration:
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edward F. Kalmus
Cost: Score and Parts - $17.95

For further availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Movements

1. Allegro molto
2. Andantino - 2:30
3. Menuetto (moderato) with Trio - 1:55
4. Presto - 1:35


Instrumentation

Full Score
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Horn in F I-II


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Musicologists Spitzer and Zaslow in their book Birth of the Orchestra tell us:

“In the courtly ethos of the 17th and 18th centuries great symbolic importance was placed on eating. A ruler had an obligation to feed … the entire court. … Thus, eating at court was both a display and an enactment of hierarchical social order … the display of wealth and paternalistic obligations were aimed not only at the prince’s own subjects, but at other courts as well.”

Music was essential to these displays at table -- hence the term tafelmusik -- and was not to be taken lightly by the prince wishing to please. To a composer however, the divertimentos and serenades that served as tafelmusik often went virtually unheard, as diners talked, laughed and created the commotion common to dinner parties.

Mozart’s Divertimento, K.270, was composed in 1777. Mozart was in Salzburg with his father at this time and was chafing under the uberpaternalism of the Archbishop Colloredo, who saw Mozart as servant first and artist second. Lucky are we that this music, which seemed condemned to be muzak in the gallant style, was written by Mozart with such charm and youthful energy.

The piece is scored for the popular wind sextet (or Harmonie) of 18th century Austrian courts: two each of oboes, bassoons and horns.

Each movement, all in major keys, betrays Mozart’s youth and exuberance. A lively Allegro molto segues into a Haydnesque Andantino, simple, square-ish and altogether charming. A menuetto and trio is all lyric conversation, and the whole thing sprints to home with a Presto marked by soft questions in piano and boisterous answers in forte.

- Program Note by Charles Peltz for New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble concert program, 16 December 2020


The divertimenti in F major (K 213), B-flat major (K 240), E-flat major (K 252/240a), F major (K 253), and B-flat major (K 270) are five companion compositions for pairs of oboes, horns and bassoons by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The fifth and final divertimento is the most sophisticated of the set. The Allegro molto is in full sonata form with a development section and a varied repeat in the recapitulation. The Andantino is a gavotte with a tiny but delightful three-beat canonic episode between first oboe and second bassoon at the beginning; the coda features four bars of Alberti-bass accompaniment for the first horn bringing the latter to prominence. The Menuetto carries the specific indication of moderato and features a peculiar hiccup in the second bar; the Trio is a Ländler. The Presto is an uncompromising 3/8 gigue featuring a brief moment of glory for the first bassoon in the coda. - Program Note from Wikipedia


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music


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