Quintet for Horns and Strings – Concert Video
This concert selection was composed by Wolfgand Amadeus Mozart and performed on September 30, 2018, at Pear Valley Estate Wines, Paso Robles. It features Greg Magie, horn; Grace Seng, viola; Sabine Vener, violin; Michael Whitson, viola; and Hilary Clark, cello.
Quintet for Horns and Strings in E-flat Major, K.407
Mozart wrote this Quintet for Horn and Strings for the Austrian horn player Joseph Leutgeb. The Mozart family had met Leutgeb, a horn virtuoso of the first order, when he played in the Archbishop’s orchestra in Salzburg. Leutgeb moved from Salzburg to Vienna at about the same time Mozart did, and he supplemented his meager income as a horn player by opening a cheese shop in a suburb of Vienna. Mozart’s father Leopold, who described the shop as being “the size of a snail’s house,” lent Leutgeb the money to get the cheese shop started.
While Leutgeb was a fine musician, he apparently was a simple person, and Wolfgang pounced on this. While Mozart’s sense of humor does not appear to have been cruel, it was seldom restrained by good taste, and the manuscripts of the horn concertos he wrote for Leutgeb are covered with jokes at the player’s expense. In the manuscript to the Horn Concerto in D Major, K.412, Mozart wrote (among other things): “Take it easy . . . animal–oh, how flat you play–ouch–oh dear . . . help!–catch your breath!–get going, get going! . . . what a bleating sheep’s trill–finished?thank heaven!” To his credit, Leutgeb bore up under all this, and several years later, when Wolfgang was having financial troubles of his own, Leutgeb was one of those who lent him money.
(Program excerpt from the concert notes written by Eric Bromberger.)
Symphony of the Vines is a professional orchestra based in north San Luis Obispo County. The symphony specializes in small orchestra and chamber ensembles playing in various venues including North County wineries.