Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Andante
Movement 3: Minuetto in Canone
Movement 4: Allegro
Mozart’s friend Joseph Haydn probably provided the influence for the last two movements. Described as ‘Menuetto in Canone’, the third follows Haydn’s precedent in Symphony No 44 (another minor-keyed work, though in E minor) in being in strict canon, while the trio provides an inverted answer to the oboe’s theme. Such contrapuntal fireworks are rare in Mozart and unheard of in other ‘entertainment’ music of the serenade/divertimento kind. The composer was determined that his listeners should really listen! For the finale he turns to another Haydn device: variations. He even comes close to borrowing a Haydn theme (Symphony No 42, finale, also variations) but treats it rather differently. An intriguing succession of variations explores unusual instrumental combinations in which every member of the octet enjoys moments of glory. A last-moment gesture to relieve tension: the final variation is in the major.
This serenade, like K375, was also the subject of second thoughts, for in the spring of 1787 Mozart rescored it for string quintet (K406). For this recording of the original wind version the Camden Music Original Mozart Edition was used. It corrects some 350 errors which had crept into earlier editions by Breitkopf und Härtel and others. Mozart’s final page of the autograph is missing. For this edition Camden Music reconstructed it from the string quintet version.
from notes by Robert Dearling © 1996