Another Very Good K. 563

Review by: David Hurwitz

MozartDiv

Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 8

Mozart’s Divertimento K. 563 (in E-flat major) is incomparably the grandest and greatest string trio in the history of the universe. It stimulates just about everyone who attempts it to their best efforts, and I haven’t heard a bad recording. TrioTaus plays the piece with great confidence and that special panache that this musical tour-de-force requires. Their tone is rich, vibrato well controlled but, happily, not absent (especially in the gorgeous second movement Adagio). They also pace the piece effectively, with lithe allegros, flowing slow movements, and aptly dance-like minuets.

Are there any problems? Well, if I had to be picky, I could point to a tendency to smear those chromatic runs in the first movement’s transitional passages, and the horn call that opens the second minuet could sound more “horn-like,” but these are quibbles. More seriously, in my opinion, is the very close engineering, which flatters the instruments but also picks up quite a bit of heavy breathing. This could well prove annoying on repetition. I do wish chamber ensembles would learn not to use their sinuses to keep time. Also, the booklet is printed so as to make the type virtually unreadable. Still, if you end up acquiring this disc you won’t be disappointed.



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Grumiaux Trio (Decca)

  • 2L - 148
  • CD

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