Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A major, KV 581 (Clarinet in A and String Quartet)
Menuetto – Trio I – Trio II
Allegretto con Variazioni
The quintet is scored for clarinet, two violins, viola, and cello, and is cast in four movements. The opening Allegro, a discourse between all five instruments, is tinged with sadness; the exquisitely lovely Larghetto that follows brings the clarinet more into the limelight, its rapturous lines supported throughout by muted strings. The Minuetto is particularly notable for the first of its two trios. The final movement is a set of variations based on one of those innocent, almost childish-sounding themes Mozart so often employed in his finales. But, as is also typical of Mozart, the manner in which the composer develops a wide variety of moods and musical textures rings enormous richness from the material, and allows the clarinetist to display great virtuosity.
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