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Mozart: Symphonies

1. Pauly p. 111
o All written between 9 & 32 which is an amazing development for
this time period
o The early writings confined Mozart to a maze of formalized structure
w/limited emotional range. (Vigeland p. 38)
o Earliest works were sinfonia modeled on what he had heard in Italy
and London. Wrote operatic sinfonie, W/O breaks between sections,
and independent works with 3 Mvmts. The mood is Galant. Minor
keys are avoided. Wind parts receive little attention.
o Symphonies written for the Italian journey, 1769-70, 3 & 4 Mvmt
w/minuet added later.
o Symphonies written after return to Salzburg in 1771 show a
different style. Occasional counterpoint,
o More Mozart flavor appears in 1772, rhythmic drive of the opening
Mvmt. In the transition sections, quality of the second and closing
o 1773-74 His first in minor mode has been compared to later works
in the same key and has a seriousness of expression not
encountered before. The coda being brief demonstrated that his
works were still being written on a smaller scale than contemporary
o Composed very few symphonies between 1773-74 & 1782. Only K.
297 in 1778 is the result of his travels to Mannheim. Due to the
large wind section in French bands this Paris Symphony used
clarinet, oboe, flute, bassoon, horn, trumpet. Its longer than
previous works even though it has no minuet.
Pauly 112
o After returning to Salzburg he wrote for the smaller orchestra
available to him. These musicians were much less capable and thus
these symphonies are less complicated as the previous one. 1780
o The remaining symphonies, the most performed now, were after he
broke with the Archbishop. K. 385 was written in the summer 1782
in Vienna. It was similar to a serenade including a March to start and
a 2nd minuet.
o K. 425 was written in haste in 1783 for a concert in Lintz.
o Nothing more was written until K. 504 in 1786 because of a huge
amount of writing in other categories.
Pauly 112-13
o A group was written in summer 1788, K. 543 (39), 550 (40), 551
(41). These are considered the pinnacle of his symphony writings
and of the classical symphony in general. More chromaticism,
harmonic surprises, modulations, abrupt key changes. Chromatics in

woodwinds because of valveless instruments. Numerous and varied

principal themes. Probably for a concert series not patron but
unknown. Romantic period can be traceable in its origins to the
impact of Mozart. (Vigeland p.38)
Pauly 114

2. Vigeland
o Pg. 44
It is documented that Mozart wrote 41 symphonies that
number is now questionable considering how much or little his
father was involved with the early ones and some fragments,
and some that were mistaken for Mozart's work.
o Pg. 47
Many symphonies grew out of an event. Almost always the
result of a commission or concert. Music was a job.
o Pg. 48
Wrote Linz symphony in 4 days. His best to that time.
o Pg. 49
1788 summer little is known. He wrote k. 543 no. 39 three
days before is six month old daughter died. Not known how
Mozart felt at this time.