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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Divertimento in E flat, K. 563 (1788) [42:51]
TrioTaus
rec. 2017, Sofienberg Church, Norway
Reviewed in SACD stereo
2L RECORDS 2L-148-SACD [42:51]

Morton Lindberg’s 2L label specialises in fine multitrack SACD recordings, and collectors will know what to expect with this attractively presented release. TrioTaus is placed in the resonant acoustic of Norway’s Sofienberg Church, and there are photos of the recording session, the balance “between direct contact and openness” found here with elegant refinement.

Mozart’s remarkable Divertimento in E flat was composed not long after the completion of his final “Jupiter” symphony. The title ‘divertimento’ might seem odd for such a large-scale work, but the only daunting thing about it is its duration. The music itself is ‘easy’ and approachable on a superficial level, though as ever with Mozart, the closer you examine and analyse each movement and the conception of the work as a whole the more you can find at which to marvel.

TrioTaus performs this work very well indeed. The sound is warmly expressive but using a vibrato that colours the sound without distorting the notes. Their tempo in the first movement is almost identical that in the Grumiaux Trio’s classic recordings, and there is plenty of intensity in the playing. The same goes for that wonderful Adagio second movement, but TrioTaus is swifter in the following Menuetto. The tempi all sound ‘right’ in the context of the whole, and I like the witty inflections in their reading of the second minuet. There is plenty of dynamic light and shade and character in the music throughout; phrasing is turned just as you want to hear it, and with very fine SACD sound indeed this is a recording to relish.

There are of course numerous fine recordings of this work around. Henning Kraggerud, Lars Anders Tomter and Christoph Richter on the Naxos label (review) are very good indeed. They are a little more intense sometimes in the skittish scales in the first movement, these at times being given a touch more legato by TrioTaus, but in general tempi, expressive weight and atmosphere are similar. Trio Zimmermann on the BIS label (review) is also excellent – a touch lighter in colour than either TrioTaus or Kraggerud, but this might have something to do with the way they are recorded.

TrioTaus (Liv Hilde Klokk (violin), Ida Bryhn (viola), Torun Sæter Stavseng (violoncello)) is excellent in every way and their performance is every bit on the same level as the best of the rest. There isn’t anything particularly revelatory about this recording however, and with no additional work on the programme your main reason for wanting to acquire it, should you already have a satisfactory recording, will have to be that 2L sonic ethos.

Dominy Clements



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