The Strad Issue: January 2011
Description: Mozart’s arrangements of Bach make an apt frame for one of his divertimentos
Musicians: Hermitage Trio
Composer: Mozart

The warmth and bloom on this recording by the Hermitage Trio is immediately inviting, and the players’ incisive, well-considered readings of Mozart trios are a treat, with arrangements of Bach sandwiching the Divertimento K563. First up is Mozart’s treatment of Bach’s Second Organ Sonata BWV526. It has glorious moments of light and shade, and makes a perfect introduction to the singing Divertimento. Here, violist Alexander Zemtsov proves himself as equally fleet-footed as violinist Boris Garlitsky in the sprightly opening Allegro, and the whole is shaped with meticulous care, with tone colours perfectly matched. ?The Adagio is particularly lithe and long-limbed, and the Menuettos that follow are full of wit and joyful elegance, all underpinned by the most delicate attention to detail. The singing final Allegro is virtuosic in the extreme, Garlitsky galloping through its tumbling passages with seemingly effortless abandon yet always with perfect clarity. Textures are gorgeously transparent, with the sparest touches of vibrato giving the whole a deliciously perfumed air.

No.4 from the Six Fugues – the second movement of the Organ Sonata no.3 BWV527 coupled with Contrapunctus VIII from The Art of Fugue – makes an intense and lovely finale, the players relaxing in and out of subtle touches of rubato.

Catherine Nelson