Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio: an Eighteenth-Century Conversation
Mozart Kegelstatt Trio in E flat, K.498 for Clarinet, Viola and PianoAndante – Menuetto – Rondeaux: Allegretto
Ensemble DeNOTEJane Booth (clarinet), Peter Collyer (viola), John Irving (fortepiano)
Performance and documentary films made at the Finchcocks Museum of Historical KeyboardsColin Still (Producer) Jane Clegg (Editor)
Mozart’s so-called ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Fortepiano, K.498 was composed in the early summer of 1786 and, so legend has it, was devised in the back of Mozart’s mind while he was playing a game of skittles (hence the nickname). Legends of Mozart’s ability to compose pieces fully in his head, writing them down on paper only afterwards are frequently betrayed by his autograph scores which, in fact, present numerous second thoughts and sometimes rather sizeable revisions. The ‘Kegelstatt’ is no exception: the lead-in to the final restatement of the charming rondo theme was recast after the work was completed (the revision being notated on blank staves at the end of the manuscript). Whatever the true situation of the work’s genesis, we know that in the earliest performances Mozart took the violist’s role (rather than his more customary seat at the keyboard) alongside Franziska von Jacquin on the fortepiano and clarinettist Anton Stadler. Each of the Trio’s three movements displays the colour characteristics of the instruments in revealing and idiosyncratic ways, and Mozart’s blending of individuality and ensemble cohesion is a masterly illustration of the universal eighteenth-century principle of musical rhetoric as a reflection of good conversation.
Ensemble DeNOTE is one of the UK’s foremost period-instrument chamber groups. Its performances of classical period chamber music are acclaimed at home and abroad. It has a long association with Music in New Malden via two of its founder members, Jane Booth and John Irving.
Jane is a specialist in the early clarinet and chalumeau. Previously Head of Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, Jane now leads their successful Coaching and Mentoring Department within Guildhall Innovation. In addition to regular masterclasses and international adjudicating, she has pursued a busy international career, playing all over the world with many renowned ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik and The Academy of Ancient Music. Her repertoire is vast and extends from the works of Handel, Telemann and Vivaldi through to Wagner, Mahler and Debussy – all on historically appropriate instruments. Jane has recorded for Analekta (Canada), ATMA (Canada) and sfz music (UK) and Devine Music (UK) performing Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, solo repertoire for the Basset Horn, wind music by Gossec and Méhul and Lieder by Schubert. Her chamber music discs, Mozart Chamber Music Vols.1 & 2 (Devine Music 2017, 18), and Beethoven and the art of Arrangement with Ensemble DeNOTE (Omnibus Classics, 2015) gained 4* and 5* reviews in The Observer, The Guardian and Early Music Review.
Peter studied at the Royal College of Music, graduating with the viola recital prize. In addition to his work on period instruments, his performing career has covered a wide range of activities including symphony orchestras, West End musicals and session work for film, TV and pop. Away from the concert platform, Peter is active as a teacher, lecturer and researcher in higher education. He is presently Head of Music Performance at Oxford University, and previously Director of Music Programmes at Morley College in London. In 2008 he was awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study towards a PhD at the University of Leeds, joining a major research project looking at the historical performance practice implications of nineteenth and early twentieth century string chamber music editions. Previously Principal Viola with La Serenissima, The London Handel Orchestra and The London Handel Players, Peter has specialised in baroque and classical viola since 1989 and was a member of the English Baroque Soloists. He also teaches at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Recently described as ‘One of the foremost exponents of the period piano in the UK’, John specializes in music of the later 18th century. International Piano has described his Beethoven playing as ‘Excellent…played with historical awareness and humour’. His most recent solo CD is Josef Haydn Piano Sonatas (Devine Music DMCD005). His Mozart and Beethoven chamber music CDs with Ensemble DeNOTE have garnered 5* and 4* reviews in The Observer, Guardian Classical and Early Music Review – the Mozart playing praised for its lyricism, inventive ornamentation and ‘gorgeously subtle colouring.’ John is Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and previously taught at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. His academic career embraced Bristol University (where he was Professor of Music) and London University (Director of The Institute of Musical Research. An internationally recognized Mozart scholar, he has published six books on Mozart, including an international best-selling biography, The Treasures of Mozart (André Deutsch, 2010) and contributions to the internationally-acclaimed The Mozart Project (a digital book for iPad).