Mozart’s gently intimate and at times wistful Piano Concerto no 27 was his last, completed just eleven months before his death; although if its tone has an autobiographical element, this is most likely to be linked to his recent recovery both from illness, and from falling slightly from favour with the Viennese public. Scored for chamber-esque forces – no clarinets, trombones or timpani – it encases an exquisitely simple Larghetto between smoothly flowing outer movements whose soft warmth is offset by poignant switches to the minor. Brahms was still in his twenties when he wrote his optimistic, pastoral-sounding Serenade No 1. While gloriously Brahmsian and symphonic, its six movements and prominent woodwind and horns are also reminiscent of Mozart’s own early-career divertimenti; and in fact it began life scored for flute, clarinet, two bassoons, horn and string quartet, before Joseph Joachim persuaded him to orchestrate it.
with the generous support of
Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet