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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000181.txt from 2001/04

From: Daniel Leeson <>
Subj: [kl] Mozart, K. 580a
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 01:34:36 -0400

The incredibly beautiful Adagio for two clarinets and three basset horns
of Mozart (K. 411/484a) was an attempt on his part to develop something
for wind instruments that would be akin to the string quartet and
quintet. Unfortunately, it is the only complete composition that uses
only mixed clarinets and basset horns.

Another work, which is structurally complete though a draft for a number
of measures in the middle, is an Adagio that for years was known only as
a composition for English horn and three unspecified instruments. It
is K. 580a. I concluded way back in the mid 1970s that the work could
not be for English horn for both acoustical and technical reasons, but
was instead for clarinet and three basset horns. I was guided in my
thinking by the work of the great Dutch composer and scholar Marius
Flothuis. The score is part of the volume of Mozart's wind music,
though only in the form of its torso, in the NMA volume, VII/17, Vol.

But Flothuis made a lovely completion of this charming work (which uses
some of the same melody found in the Ave Verum Corpus) and it is now
published by Broekmans & Van Poppel in Amersterdam. I mention this for
those who enjoy the quintet Adagio, K. 411 becasue it can be played with
this now completed quartet Adagio.
** Dan Leeson **
** **

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