Grand Trio for Violin Guitar and Cello by W. A. Mozart
Grand Trio for Violin Guitar and Cello by W. A. Mozart

Grand Trio for Violin Guitar and Cello by W. A. Mozart

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Grand Trio for Violin Guitar and Cello by W. A. Mozart

The Grand Trio by Mozart (K. 304) is the fourth of the so called "Palatine" sonatas originally written for violin and piano in 1778 while the composer was living in Paris. The set of six sonatas was published in Paris in November, 1778 and dedicated to Elisabeth Maria Alosia August, the wife of Karl Theodor, the Prince Elector, Count Palatine and Duke of Bavaria. The Trio is a two-movement work in the key of E minor. Minor keys were generally rare in Mozart's works, and it is notable that the Piano Sonata K. 310, one of only two minor-key sonatas that Mozart wrote for piano (the other being K. 457), was also written in Paris during this period. Of K. 304, Marius Flothius writes: "Mozart's loneliness, indeed his feelings of despair in the great city, where he was largely neglected and where his mother fell ill and died, leave their mark on this work." (Zalslaw, 290)

The present edition is a period arrangement by the French guitarist and music publisher Pierre Jean Porro. Porro (1750-1831) was born with the French surname Porre, but later Italianized his name, as was fashionable in the period. As a publisher, he held some considerable influence on his instrument during a period when the guitar had become an important salon instrument in early 19th-century France. Many of his works were circulated through periodic journals for guitar, which he published in conjunction with Joseph Baillon. Signifigant among these is the Journal de Guitare.In Paris, Porro became an established composer, teacher, and publisher of music for guitar and the lyre-guitare, eventually writing methods for both instruments.

The sources for this edition are the three published parts in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. under the call number: M. 374.M Case. It dates from the early 19th ca. 1807-11. On the title page Porro indicates that the work can be played by either guitar or lyre. The title page reads as follows:

GRAND TRIO/Extrait de Mozart/Arrangé/Pour/Guitare ou Lyre,/Violon et Vioncelle/ PAR P. PORRO/Prix 4 f 50c/à Paris/Chez P. PORRO, Rue J. J. Rousseau No 14/ Propriété de P. Porro.

Because of the dual nature of the guitar/lyre part, the original has several indications for alternate transpositions for the lyre, as well as a few places that indicate ad lib octave transpositions. In the present edition, I have only indicated editorial changes that would affect the guitar part. Porro's score also has performance indications in both Italian and French, the former being the more traditional tempo and dynamic indications found in music of the period. I have provided translations for those portions of the text that provide detailed performance instructions. I have also used common, standard Italian spellings for some of the original terms. For example, the original "sola" has been changed to "solo" and "Codda" changed to "Coda."

George Torres

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