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Kegelstatt Trio, KV 498 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
III Rondeaux Allgretto
Mozart wrote the Kegelsttat trio in August 1786, dedicating it to Franziska Jacquin, who was the pianist at the premiere when Mozart played the viola and Anton Stadler the clarinet. The clarinet was a relatively unknown instrument until Mozart began writing for it, in particular for Anton Stadler and bringing it to the foreground of wind instruments, and the position it occupies today. The first composer to write for this combination, it was Mozart who lay the path of inspiration for the wonderful trio’s that followed in Romantic music. The word Kegelsttat, meaning skittles, refers to a skittle alley where the previous week in 1786 Mozart had written 12 basset horn duos, but there is no evidence that this trio was written there, and in fact it was the publishers who added this title to aid the selling popularity of the work. Uniquely starting with a slow movement, Andante, in this trio Mozart still employs his classic sonata form throughout, often in ingenious ways.