When Anne-Sophie Mutter says that Mozart wrote his trios for violin,
violoncello and piano for his own enjoyment, then this is not merely a
conclusion derived from the artist's own pleasure in playing these works
with talented colleagues. Mozart himself, in a letter of June 1788 to his
friend Michael Puchberg, added this postscript: "When are we to have a
little musical party at your house again? I have composed a new trio!" He
was referring to the Piano Trio in E major K. 542.
All three trios on this recording are not only late works, but were also
published together in 1788, lending weight to the claim that they are the
three finest and most exemplary works in this genre by Mozart. In the
earliest of the three, K. 502, Mozart broke through the traditional
predominance of the piano to give equal weight to the strings, whereby the
violin is given ample opportunity to display the soloist's bravura.
The Trios K. 542 and 548 were both written in the astonishingly fruitful
summer of 1788, during which Mozart wrote the great trilogy of his last
symphonies. They show Mozart at the very height of his powers. Proof that
Mozart thought highly of K. 542 emerges in the fact that he played it at
the court of Dresden in 1789 when he was seeking an appointment there.
Finally, K. 548 in C major is a more restrained work that concentrates on
motivic development and, in its slow movement, foreshadows the chamber
music of the early 19th century.
Joining Anne-Sophie Mutter on this recording is the internationally
acclaimed young cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, who, as a scholarship holder
from her Foundation, benefited from Ms. Mutter's personal sponsorship at
the outset of his career. More than one critic is already mentioning his
name in one breath with Pablo Casals and Mstislav Rostropovich. At the
piano is Sir André Previn, pianist, conductor, composer and gifted
accompanist. The stunning location of the concert - the late-Baroque
Teatro Bibiena in Mantua - bears a subtle connection to Mozart, for it is
here that the 14-year-old Wolfgang gave a recital with his father in
January 1770 while on his first tour of Italy.
Also available is a "making-of" documentary on "The Mozart Project" (45'),
in which Anne-Sophie Mutter talks about her relationship to Mozart's music
and is joined by her colleagues André Previn, Lambert Orkis and Daniel