Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Larghetto
Movement 3: Allegretto
Despite this new independence of the string parts, the B flat Trio has a particularly flamboyant character in its piano-writing which makes it seem almost like a concerto. The first-movement Allegro is constructed virtually throughout from the opening phrases, in which piano and stringed instruments answer each other—an economy of means that is much more characteristic of Haydn than of Mozart. Only at the start of the central development section does Mozart venture further afield, with a new theme first on violin then on cello. The Larghetto is a movement of highly decorated lyricism, with a simpler and more poised middle section. Again the style of the elaboration seems to suggest homage to Haydn. The finale is a wide-ranging rondo. Its opening phrase has a rather antique character, like a subject for an organ fugue. From time to time Mozart does treat it to ‘learned’ counterpoint, but always with his characteristically light touch, and interspersed with dashing passages of virtuoso piano-writing. These are combined in a brilliant way as the movement draws to a close. But it is the unassuming little second theme that ends the work, wittily played in counterpoint, as violin and cello answer each other like two characters vying to be the last to leave the stage.
from notes by Robert Philip © 2006