Tuesday, 2 September 2008

158. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 40 (1788)


Title: The Symphonies
Performers: The English Concert
Director: Trevor Pinnock
Year: 1994
Length: 33 minutes


The first movement of this Symphony is probably one of Mozart's most famous pieces of music, interestingly it is one which is usually used by itself disregarding the rest of the Symphony, even if the last movement is quite famous as well.

This is the middle symphony in the triumvirate of Mozart's last great symphonies, and rivals only No.41 in terms of fame. It is again an amazing piece of music, Mozart at his best.

It is actually a pretty dark piece, but Mozart is always pretty good at making dark music, Don Giovanni and the Requiem being prime examples of how good he is. Still there are plenty of moments where the light shines through here, making it all the better for it.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

This work has elicited varying interpretations from critics. Robert Schumann regarded it as possessing “Grecian lightness and grace”. Donald Francis Tovey saw in it the character of opera buffa. Almost certainly, however, the most common perception today is that the symphony is tragic in tone and intensely emotional; for example, Charles Rosen (in The Classical Style) has called the symphony "a work of passion, violence, and grief."

Although interpretations differ, the symphony is unquestionably one of Mozart's most greatly admired works, and it is frequently performed and recorded.

First Movement, Harnoncourt:

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