The Serenade no. 13, K. 525, is a 1787 composition for chamber ensemble by W.A. Mozart. The title means ‘a little serenade’, though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as A little night music (which has become a common nickname for the piece).

There are no records of its first performance, but it is suggested that -as with his other serenades- Mozart wrote it on comission. The traditionally used name of the work comes from the entry Mozart made for it in his personal catalog, which begins, “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.”

It has been pointed out that Mozart was not giving the piece a special title, but only entering in his records that he had completed a little serenade. The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass, but is often performed by string orchestras.

In the catalog entry mentioned above, Mozart listed the work as having five movements The second movement in his listing, a minuet and trio, was long thought lost and no one knows if it was Mozart or someone else who removed it.

In the catalog entry mentioned above, Mozart listed the work as having five movements (“Allegro – Minuet and Trio – Romance – Minuet and Trio – Finale.”). The second movement in his listing — a minuet and trio — was long thought lost, and no one knows if Mozart or someone else removed it. In his 1984 recording, Christopher Hogwood used a minuet of Thomas Attwood (found in his sketchbooks used while he took lessons from Mozart), and an additional newly composed trio to substitute the missing movement. Musicologist Alfred Einstein suggested, however, that a minuet in the Piano Sonata in B♭ major, K. 498a, is the missing movement. K. 498a, which is credited to the composer August Eberhard Müller, incorporates significant amounts of Mozart’s work in the form of reworkings of material from the piano concertos K. 450, K. 456, and K. 595, leading Einstein to suggest that the minuet in Müller’s sonata might be an arrangement of the missing movement from Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

In 1971, this movement was incorporated into a recording of the work prepared by the musicologist and performer Thurston Dart. In 1989, the minuet and trio of K. 498a was again recorded as part of an arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik made by Jonathan Del Mar for Nimbus Records.

Mozart – Serenade in G major – Music | History


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