Mozart, Kirchner

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Kirchner,Mozart
LABELS: Coviello
WORKS: Divertimento in E flat, K563; String Trio
PERFORMER: Trio Echnaton
Divertimento is a misleading title – this late string trio is Mozart’s longest piece of chamber music, and, in the Adagio second movement, contains some of his most profound thoughts. The Trio Echnaton makes a rich, vibrant sound, and has a flexible rubato which carries the music in the right direction, but the players never achieve the repose of some earlier performers. The Grumiaux Trio, for example, completes a journey by the end of this movement, and I don’t get that from the Echnaton. It’s more convincing in the remaining four movements, especially the two minuets and the finale, where the divertimento feeling is nearer the surface. But its fundamentally Romantic approach is more suited to Volker David Kirchner’s Trio, written for it in 2000, where the almost Mahlerian opening gesture quickly progresses to something more disturbing, like Shostakovich distorted in a sinister nightmare. The weight of the piece is thrown on to this first movement, which has enough incident to stand alone: after that, the scherzo runs out of steam and the finale doesn’t last long enough to balance what’s gone before. Virtuoso playing, though, and a nicely focused, resonant recording – which you can hear in surround-sound on the bonus DVD. Martin Cotton