Monday, 1 September 2008

157. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No.39 (1788)


Title: Symphonies No,38 "Prague" & No. 39
Performers: English Baroque Soloists
Director: John Eliot Gardiner
Year: 1990
Length: 32 minutes


Now we have the three later great Mozart Symphonies in a row here, and we start with 39, probably the least famous of the big three, but a great one nonetheless. It starts in a truly grand way, and Gardiner's interpretation makes it very plain that it is a magisterial beginning to the first movement.

It follows on to a beautiful Andante and a jaunty Menuetto before the real highlight of the whole thing. The Finale is just extremely playful and fun, Mozart at his best.

So the first and last movement bookend in perfection this great symphony. This is really, together with the next 2 Symphonies the pinnacle of Classical Orchestral music, and therefore unmissable.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It seems to be impossible to determine the date of the premiere of the 39th Symphony on the basis of currently available evidence; in fact, it cannot be established whether the symphony was ever performed in the composer's lifetime. According to Deutsch (1965), around the time Mozart wrote the work, he was preparing to hold a series of "Concerts in the Casino", in a new casino in the Spiegelgasse owned by Philipp Otto. Mozart even sent a pair of tickets for this series to his friend Michael Puchberg. But it seems impossible to determine whether the concert series was held, or was cancelled for lack of interest. In addition, in the period up to the end of his life, Mozart participated in various other concerts whose program included an unidentified symphony; these also could have been the occasion of the premiere of the 39th (for details, see Symphony No. 40 (Mozart)).

The fourth movement by Karl Bohm, the whole thing is on-line in the same concert so just look for it:


Anonymous said...

something wrong with your numbering. 156 no 157, 158 ???

Francisco Silva said...

Indeed! Thanks, I'll fix it right now.