Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat major

As Alfred Einstein writes in Mozart: His Character, His Work (and as excerpted in the notes to a Kennedy Center performance), his only completed string trio (there are fragments) shares with most divertimenti this six-movement format, but from that no lightness of tone should be understood – rather, “it is a true chamber-music work, and grew to such large proportions only because it was intended to offer … something special in the way of art, invention, and good spirits. … Each instrument is primus inter pares, every note is significant, every note is a contribution to spiritual and sensuous fulfillment in sound.” Einstein called it “one of his noblest works.”

Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat major is “one of a kind,” according to the notes to an Emerson Quartet performance. “It is not only Mozart’s only finished composition for string trio – it also appears to be the first such work by any composer.” Though probably the first substantial work for the combination, it is not the first work written for string trio; there were works for violin, viola and cello written at least five years earlier, by Wenzel Pichl, and works for two violins and bass, probably based on the trio sonata, written much before that.

Movement 1 Adagio (approx. 12 min.)


2nd – 11 min.


third – 5 min.


fourth – 7 min.


fifth – 5 min.


sixth – 6 min.