Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento, K.252: for brass quintet

Arranged by Steven Gamble

Two B-flat trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018

Score and parts


Mozart wrote this work as Tafelmusik (dinner music) for the Salzburg court around 1776 when he was 20 years old. It was originally for six winds and in E-flat; this transcription is in C. There are four movements: Andante cantabile, Leggiero (6/8), Menuetto, Sostenuto e poco marcato (3/4); Polonaise (3/4), Presto leggierissimo (2/4) and a brief coda. The Presto movement is based on an Austrian tune Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht, which actually translates as ‘the leopard cannot change its spots.’

This is a well-written arrangement; there do not appear to be any significant technical difficulties and the music looks well-suited to the medium of brass quintet. The trombone part is given in bass clef, range G-f¹, and calls for good legato phrasing in 16th note passages. Trumpets are in B-flat; first tops out at c-sharp², b¹ concert pitch. None of the parts call for mute. I think this is a worthwhile addition to the brass quintet repertoire. And does the cat catch the mouse? The final unison C suggests that she probably does!

Stephen Gamble is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. As a trombonist, he was a founding member of the Chicago Chamber Brass. He has performed and recorded extensively, and currently plays with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Tucson Pops Orchestra. He has previously published many other successful arrangements for brass quintet.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published March 7, 2019