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Mozart: Divertimento In E Flat / Kraggerud, Tomter, Richter

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Divertimento for violin, viola & cello in E flat major, K. 563
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Movement for string trio in G major (fragment), K. Anh. 66 (K. 562e)
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

At the peak of his powers, Mozart composed his famous String Trio, K. 563 for his friend, fellow-mason and creditor Johann Michael Puchberg. While labelled 'Divertimento', this masterful six movement work is one of Mozart's most substantial pieces for string trio and one of his greatest works. The Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud, who has made a number of highly-praised Naxos recordings, joins prize-winning compatriot Lars Anders Tomter.

"Perhaps the outstanding quality of this performance is its rhythmic thrust, combined with the ability of the players to characterize their musical lines in an independent but still effectively coordinated way. I’m thinking in particular of cellist Christoph Richter’s delightful, swooping comments at the end of the first-movement exposition, the almost “parlante” phrasing of the finale’s principal rondo theme, and the generously lyrical phrasing of the grand second-movement Adagio. In music bursting with some of Mozart’s catchiest tunes, there’s never a moment that turns dull or static in this performance, and the sonics let the music breathe in a warm but ideally intimate setting. You really can’t have too many versions of this piece, one of the glories of the chamber music literature. Let this be one of them." -ClassicsToday (10/10)

Classical Candor
The three performers Naxos assembled on the disc play with distinction, as we might expect, and provide a pretty good rendition of Mozart's music, their tempos neither too fast nor too slow but about right for a traditional reading of the score. The Trio begins with an Allegro, played with spirit and bite. The performers take the principal theme, one of Mozart's typically beautiful melodies, at a pleasingly moderate gait that makes it melt in the air. Then, because they do not play the opening movement excessively fast, the lovely Adagio that follows is not so jarring a contrast as it might be but flows naturally from everything that went before. The players handle it lightly and poetically. ... the Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud and Norwegian violist Lars Anders Tomter (both playing on period instruments) join German cellist Christoph Richter to produce a worthy addition to a small but growing list of fine recordings of the work.

American Record Guide
This will serve me much better than recordings by more famous musicians... I was eager to hear this. I have heard Mr Kraggerud in concert and liked his tone and his approach. He is quite good here. Fortunately he has not fallen for the vibratoless playing that is often coming out of Europe these days.

The WholeNote
... Naxos has issued an excellent performance by violinist Henning Kraggerud, violist Lars Anders Tomter and cellist Christoph Richter (8.572258)... This performance may be slightly less intense than the Zimmermann at times, but it's a warm, rich reading that is beautifully recorded. At the bargain Naxos price it's a great way to obtain a superb work that is quite simply Mozart at his best

MusicWeb International
This is above all a lively performance, not so much in tempi, which are well chosen and by no means too fast, but in characterisation, dynamics and phrasing. The players are alive to every minute change in the musical argument. I had not encountered any of them before, and there is no indication in the booklet that they play together regularly as a trio, but all are apparently experienced chamber musicians. They manage the difficult feat of playing as a single unit when needed but with subtle differentiation of tone colour when that in turn is required. Although they are generous with repeats, including those to both halves of the first movement, I was never bored with the music or their playing of it. I have heard many other performances but this is certainly one of the best I have encountered so far.

Allmusic.com
Mozart's Divertimento for string trio in E flat major, K. 563, is unique in his output and exemplifies to the hilt his ability to infuse light, conventional forms with compact complexity... .this release by a trio of Norwegian and German musicians is one of the best, most absorbing versions available... .these players convey a strong sense of exploring the work in real time, with particularly lively dialogues carried on between violinist Henning Kraggerud and cellist Christoph Richter. This album, in fact, has the feel of the classic all-star chamber groups of the middle of the last century, such as those in which Pablo Casals was often involved, and this kind of approach has rarely been applied to this particular work, which richly deserves it. Highly recommended.

Infodad.com
The expressive as well as virtuosic potential of the violin is well known, but composers have handled the instrument very differently through the years. One of Mozart's greatest and most appealing pieces combines the violin with only two other instruments, viola and cello, to produce a work that the composer surely knew was far more than the lighthearted, lightweight one implied by the title Divertimento. This is a six-movement, three-quarters-of-an-hour work of great beauty and profundity, seamlessly interweaving the three string instruments into a gorgeous sonic tapestry while also exploring their individual - as well as combined - sonority and expressive potential. Henning Kraggerud, Lars Anders Tomter and Christoph Richter are not a formally organized trio, and that fact sometimes shows through in ensemble passages that are very well played but that lack the apparently intuitive grasp of what each player is thinking and is about to do that the best trios show.

Still, this performance is very well played, and even though the performers (especially Kraggerud and Tomter) are frequently heard as soloists, they do a fine job of subsuming any tendency toward competitive display here, with each player allowing the others their moments to shine. That is exactly what this music requires: cooperativeness at the highest level as well as exceptionally sensitive and skilled playing. This is a short CD, even with the inclusion of a four-minute fragment of another Mozart work for the same ensemble; but the pleasures of this music last a very long time indeed.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lindemannsalen, Musikkhogskole Oslo, Norway (12/19/2008-12/23/2008).



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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Divertimento for violin, viola & cello in E flat major, K. 563
  • Performers: Henning Kraggerud [Composer/Violin] (Violin); Christoph Richter (Cello); Lars Tomter (Viola)
  • Notes: Lindemannsalen, Musikkhogskole Oslo, Norway (12/19/2008-12/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 46 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1788

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Movement for string trio in G major (fragment), K. Anh. 66 (K. 562e)
  • Performers: Henning Kraggerud [Composer/Violin] (Violin); Christoph Richter (Cello); Lars Tomter (Viola)
  • Notes: Lindemannsalen, Musikkhogskole Oslo, Norway (12/19/2008-12/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1788