The opening allegro from Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K.525 (Serenade for Strings in G Major). 4K, ultra high definition video from the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, July, 2016, performed on original instruments. Carla Moore & Isabelle Seula Lee, violins, Liana Bérubé, viola, Tanya Tomkins, violincello & Eric Zivian, fortepiano. This work is here presented for the first time in 4K video filmed on original instruments.
After many years of exploring, performing and recording the chamber music of the Classical and Romantic periods on period instruments, founders Tanya Tomkins and Eric Zivian have come to the conclusion that these well-known pieces can be experienced in a completely new way, not only through the unique qualities of period instruments but also through a full understanding of period style.
For the past ten years, directors Eric and Tanya have immersed themselves in Classical and Romantic music on period instruments: recording, performing, and teaching these pieces from a historic perspective; this experience led to the idea of starting a music festival devoted to performing and teaching this repertory on period instruments. The Valley of the Moon Music Festival is not just an exciting series of summer concerts in the beautiful town of Sonoma, but it is also a place for emerging musicians to thrive as they incorporate this chamber music into their professional lives.
For more information, visit the festival on the web at
This video is a unique collaboration between the Valley of the Moon Festival and the Voices of Music Great Works Project. The Great Works Project makes Classical Music available free anywhere in the world, and these materials can be used by students and teachers and as part of the curriculum of schools and conservatories. Our video channel is one of the largest and most accessible classical music channels in the world.
Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik was composed in 1787, but not published until after the composer’s death. The first movement is in Sonata Allegro form, and begins with a rapid upward arpeggio, typical of the “Mannheim rocket” themes; a similar gesture is used by Mozart in his Piano Sonata in C minor, K. 457. The theme is used later on in inversion as well as part of the short coda at the end of the movement. The original title reads: “Eine kleine Nachtmusik, bestehend in einem Allegro. Menuett und Trio.–Romance.Menuett und Trio, und Finale.–2 violini, viola e bassi.” “A little serenade, consisting of an allegro, a minuet and trio, a romance, [another] minuet and trio, and a finale. For two violins, viola, and bass instruments.” The somewhat cryptic term “bassi” at the end of the description would seem to imply a larger group than a string quartet (although the form of the work is eminently suitable for a quartet); some performers choose to add a double bass, or perform the work with a larger ensemble. Support for the addition of the double bass comes from the rubric in the manuscript part: “Violoncello e Contra Basso.” In this performance, fortepianist Eric Zivian completes the orchestration with an an improvised part for piano, assuming Mozart’s traditional role of the player of basso continuo: this interpretation is entirely in keeping with the performance practice of the time, in which keyboard instruments were part of the orchestra and ensembles. In 1883, Breitkopf & Härtel published the work as a “quintet” as part of the series of Mozart’s works, adding the double basses to the cello part; however, there is no independent fifth part; the subsequent Peters edition, ca. 1890, lists the work as a quartet. Mozart’s skillful use of texture and imitation in the inner parts lends a shimmering vitality and buoyancy to the entire work.
Further reading: the scoring of this work and similar works is cogently discussed in James Webster’s article in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 1974), pp. 212. Public domain and Creative Commons scores and parts are available on IMSLP: https://goo.gl/CriEYH
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HD Audio: Boby Borisov
4K Video: David Tayler, Lloyd Hryciw, Boby Borisov
Post Production: David Tayler, Hanneke van Proosdij & Adaiha MacAdam-Somer #Mozart