Movement 1: Allegro vviace assai
Movement 2: Menuetto
Movement 3: Adagio
Movement 4: Allegro assai
A comparatively short Minuet follows. Its irregular phrase structures tease the ear, if gently, though the first section adds up to a conventional eight-bar period: here the irregularity is only on the surface. A few well placed sforzandi provide occasional touches of humour in the Trio, but on the whole Mozart prefers to charm rather than startle his listeners.
With the Adagio, K458 moves onto a different plane. An arresting opening theme in E flat major—once again alternating ‘piano’ and ‘sforzando’ markings—leads, via a long and elegantly decorated violin line, to a rapt second subject in B flat, with violin answered tellingly by high cello. There is no development section; the ideas simply return in the original order, the beautiful violin and cello theme now in the tonic. A brief coda brings the music to an affecting close.
As in the first two movements, everything in the finale is good-humoured and relatively uncomplicated. This was Mozart’s second attempt at a finale for K458: the original, in the style of a polonaise, got as far as the 65th bar before Mozart realized that it wasn’t what he wanted.
from notes by Stephen Johnson © 1991