Divertimento in D major K.136

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
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Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)

Performance date: 03/07/2012

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1772

Duration: 00:17:46

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: 2vn, va, vc

Instrumentation Category:String Quartet

Artists: Chiaroscuro Quartet (Alina Ibragimova, Pablo Hernán Benedí [violins], Emilie Hörnlund [viola], Claire Thirion [cello]) - [quartet]

wrote a set of three Quartets in Salzburg
around the beginning of 1772. It is not clear whether they were meant as string
quartets or as divertimenti for string orchestra but they work excellently in
either medium. While “Divertimento” appears on the manuscript it is
not in Mozart’s hand. All three are in three movements , they should have had a
second Minuet if they were meant to be proper Divertimenti. The great Mozart
scholar Alfred Einstein believes that the set was written so that Mozart could
take them with him to Italy
so that he could present it as examples of his compositional skills. As written
they could be played by a quartet, a larger string ensemble or be converted
into symphonies by the addition of wind parts. Mozart’s practice at this early
age was to add two horns and to use a violone for the bass part.


its purpose this D major Divertimento remains among the composer’s most attractive
early compositions. K.136 is the first of the set and its  opening movement bursts into action with a
sprightly first violin theme which dominates the material. The graceful slow
movement suggests the young Mozart’s Italian experiences, while the finale
bounces along  merrily. It is in sonata
form with a sprightly opening theme in the same style as the first movement. It
is contrasted by a staccato scale-like motif and the two provide fine material
for the musical merry-making.