From the start, the size and nature of the scoring of Mozart’s Serenade for 12 Winds and Contrabass K. 361 (conventionally called either Serenade for 13 Winds or Gran Partita) and the unusual length of the work precluded frequent performance, and the piece (or selections from it) appeared in many alternative but more convenient scorings: for wind octet, wind sextet, string quintet and a flute quartet version of the variations (listed as K. 285b but almost certainly not Mozart’s work).
Of the small-scale scorings, however, Christian Schwencke’s arrangement for a chamber group including piano is sonically the most effective and this arrangement is the most coherent representation of Mozart’s ideas for five players. In common with several transmitted versions of the Gran Partita, Schwencke’s version includes a third Trio attached to the first Menuetto; to date this Trio has neither been authenticated as true Mozart, nor debunked, and it is included in this first modern edition of this work for a unique instrumental combination, also offering the alternatives of flute, clarinet or even another violin to replace the oboe.
Dating from around 1805, this arrangement is highly effective and far more practical and convenient to realise than the original Serenade for 13 Winds. Furthermore, the current edition is exemplary; this is therefore a publication that chamber musicians should not miss. I give this my unreserved recommendation.