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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Epistle Sonata in F major K.145 (for Wind Quintet)

A lively sonata movement by the master...

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (1756 – 1791) needs absolutely no introduction. Which is a shame, as he probably deserves one. The Epistle Sonatas, of which seventeen are extant, arose from Mozart's appointment, at the age of sixteen, as Konzertmeister to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronimus Franz von Paula, Count Colloredo. (Now that's a title...) In addition to the writing of larger works, one of Mozart's more obscure duties was to provide music between the readings of the Epistle and the Gospel during the rather elaborate Masses held at court. If a group of musicians happened to be resident there, Mozart would pen a brief piece in sonata form for the available forces, rather than 'merely' improvise – no doubt brilliantly – at the organ. Some of these pieces, including the one arranged here, are scored for an intimate group of two violins, cello and organ continuo, while others are on a much larger scale altogether, being written for strings, with oboes, horns, trumpets and drums. In all, the Epistle Sonatas are a fascinating tributary of Mozart's output.

Now, Mozart purists will shudder at the style of arranging in this piece. (Mind you, one Mozart purist I know shudders pathologically at most things...) All I will say is: I hope that I have captured the potential for exuberance in this music, rather than faithfully reproduced the style of instrumentation of the Classical era. In other words, there are a couple of showy bits and the horn gets to do more than simply parp tonic and dominant notes...


Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, Bassoon

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, Bassoon

Mozart - Epistle Sonata in F major K.145 mp3 sample
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