Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Menuetto
Movement 3: Andante
Movement 4: Allegro non troppo
The Minuet is longer, and harmonically more adventurous than that of K458. Its almost exclusive concentration on two short motives would have appealed strongly to Beethoven, as would the telling inclusion of a bar of silence just after the first repeat. Abrupt dynamic contrasts characterize the E major Trio, lending piquancy to what would otherwise have been a disarmingly simple tune.
Mozart casts his slow movement in the form of a set of variations, based on an amiable 2/4 theme that might equally well have occurred to Haydn himself; however, as the movement progresses it rises to quite unexpected heights of eloquence. The ‘drum tap’ figures in the final variation (taken up by viola and violins in the coda) have led to K464 being christened ‘The Drum’, though for some reason this nickname has never caught on in Britain.
The finale of K464 is based almost entirely on one theme, but the variety of textures and harmony that Mozart conjures from it is quite remarkable. The coda builds to a forceful climax, then falls to a delightfully conclusive pianissimo.
from notes by Stephen Johnson © 1991