Fantasie fur eine Orgelwalze, K608) by W.A. Mozart
Transcribed for Woodwind Quintet by Don Stewart et al
For Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, French Horn in F and Bassoon
This fine work comes from the last year of the composer's life. Although he was recognized by his peers as a great musician and had many successes in the previous years, it was a time of stress, with financial and domestic difficulties. So it was that in these months Mozart accepted small commissions that earlier he would have distained. Count von Deym asked him to make pieces for the newly invented Orgelwalze, a sort of grandiose music box. However, Mozart found himself pleased to be freed from the constraints of concert life, and so created some of his most inventive music. The Orgelwalze died, but the music certainly did not, and almost immediately was re-written for other more conventional formats.
This piece was composed on about March 3, 1791. The Kochel edition, which has served as a source for this and predecessor transcriptions, is dated 1862. And this transcription, done fo rthe Boehm Quintette, was made in August 1974. This, this powerful music has had a life span of now 222 years, amd one imagines it will further endure.