06/21/2019 NEW ALBUM "Mozart New Cello Duos" with cellist Kee-Hyun Kim (Parker String Quartet)

Press Release:



BSO Principal Blaise Déjardin and Parker Quartet’s Kee-Hyun Kim Release New Mozart Transcriptions for Cello Duo

Opus Cello continues to fulfill its mission of bringing new quality repertoire to cello ensembles everywhere with Déjardin’s arrangements showcasing the instrument’s flexibility and range.

(Order the album here.)

Cellists Blaise Déjardin (principal, Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Kee-Hyun Kim (Parker Quartet) release a new collection of Mozart cello duos on June 21, 2019. The works are newly arranged by Déjardin, and the recording marks the debut release for the cellist’s publishing entity Opus Cello, which aims to develop new quality repertoire for cello ensembles everywhere.

The incredible balance and integrity of Mozart’s music seems to invite transcription. Mozart re-scored some of his own work and likely expected others to do the same. He also transcribed the music of others, most notably J.S. Bach. Here Déjardin, whose transcriptions have been described as “inventive” by Gramophone magazine, arranges two Mozart duos originally written for violin and viola (K.423 in G and K.424 in B-flat), and his variations on “Ah vous-dirai-je Maman” (aka “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”) for piano.

“Mozart’s duos for violin and viola are true masterpieces, as are his 12 Variations on ‘Ah, vous dirai-je Maman’ for piano,” Déjardin says. “I strongly believe that those new arrangements for two cellos are important contributions to the cello repertoire and they were natural candidates for the first recording published by Opus Cello, my sheet music company. Mozart’s creativity, elegance and humor shines through this music and it was a delight to record it with my dear friend Kee-Hyun Kim, a fabulous cellist and chamber musician. I am thrilled that this album will expose more cellists and cello lovers to this wonderful music!”

The album was recorded in the stellar acoustics of Bowld Recital Studio at Phillips Academy in Exeter, NH by engineer Tom Caulfield. Mozart: New Cello Duos is mixed, mastered, and produced by Jesse Lewis.

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Program Notes:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music lends itself very well to transcription from its original context to new instrumental combinations because of its clarity, balance, and overall formal elegance. Mozart himself rescored some of his own pieces and surely anticipated that others would do the same. He also transcribed the music of other composers, most importantly J.S. Bach. Blaise Déjardin’s transcriptions for cello duo of these Mozart pieces highlights the instrument’s flexibility and extraordinary melodic range in settings alternately exuberantly athletic and broadly lyrical.

Mozart composed his two duos, K.423 in G and K.424 in B-flat, for violin and viola in 1783 as a favor to his friend Michael Haydn (Joseph’s brother), who due to illness was to complete only four of a set of six such works on commission from Mozart’s former employer, the Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg. Haydn’s duos are by no means miniatures, but Mozart’s fully realized, three-movement duos are more substantial in every way. It’s possible that this depth was a carryover from the set of six innovative and profound string quartets he was in the midst of writing at that time—the so-called “Haydn” quartets, dedicated to Michael’s older brother Joseph.

Mozart’s Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, maman” (“Shall I tell you, mama”) are based on a mid- 18th century French folk song, the melody of which is the basis for a number of children’s rhymes, including the English-language “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the Alphabet Song. Mozart probably wrote this set of variations within a year or so after his move to Vienna in 1781; they were published in 1785. His delightfully imaginative treatment of the simple tune reaches its greatest expressive and technical distance from the original in the C minor eighth variation, with its rich counterpoint and chromatic lines.

— Robert Kirzinger


Since 2013, Opus Cello has brought new quality repertoire to cello ensembles everywhere, publishing its sheet music both online as digital downloads and as printed copies in music stores around the world.

Blaise DejardinComment