Adagio K356 (617a) and Adagio K411 (484a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
For 4 C Flutes
Includes score and parts for Flutes 1-3; Flute 4 reads off the score
These two movements by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) are very seldom heard in their original form: the Adagio K356 (617a) was written in 1791 for glass harmonica, the Adagio K411 (484a) for two clarinets and three basset horns.
The last-named work is taken from a series of five wind pieces in which Mozart experimented with a novel instrumnet, the basset horn, in various combinations. To be sure, the present version, transposed to F major, cannot attain the smooth, dark sound of the clarinet family; nevertheless, it retains their balanced timbre, and sounds light and bright at once.
The arrangement of the Adagio for glass harmonica attempts to recapture that ethereal sound so beloved of the eighteenth century with its fondness for gentle timbres.