DeNote's chamber music recital for BREMF on Friday was designed for Mozart and Stamitz on original period instruments. Their aim is to replicate the style and sound of 18th-century performance, whilst admitting that the baroque fashion for improvisation actually makes it impossible. We take the printed note as gospel; Mozart never liked to repeat a keyboard passage the same way twice, and often wrote in skeleton shorthand which would be harmonised and embellished on stage. John Irving, fortepiano, introduced his Walther copy keyboard and then let rip - despite the light action and modest dynamic, it was a powerful demonstration of a more flexible approach. ( I think some tiny variations in K330 were Irving's own, unless  editions vary more than is likely.)
Jane Booth, basset clarinet, joined Irving for a duet arrangement of K581. The familiar, ravishing Larghetto, graceful Minuet and rustic Landler were exquisite: I never missed the original Quintet for a moment, appreciating the clear depth, agility and “soft sweet breath” of the clarinet as if for the first time.
Two became three as Peter Collyer assumed the Mozart viola part for K498, Kegelstatt Trio. It was a sympathetic, skilful performance of musical democracy in action and a persuasive argument for period instruments. Now, where did I park my horse?