Monday, 25 August 2008

152. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony no.38 "Prague" (1786)


Title: Symphonies Nos. 35-41
Performers: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Director: Herbert Von Karajan
Year: 1977
Length: 26 minutes


With Symphony no. 38 we start an uninterrupted sequence of some pretty great symphonies by Mozart, up until his last one, No.41. This one starts ominously, and it isn't hard to see that just a year later he would put out Don Giovanni, there are similarities in the beginning here. It soon goes on to a brilliant allegro and some very attractive music indeed.

The first movement here is really the stand-out movement of the whole thing, but the slow movement is beautiful and the last one is a fast, light and airy Presto which complements the whole thing very well.

The scope of the symphony feels much larger than that of the piano concertos, there is none of the delicate humanity of the piano, and so the music becomes much more epic and grandiose, at times joyous and other times menacing. Pretty great.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Although Mozart’s popularity among the Viennese waxed and waned, he was consistently popular among the Bohemians and had a devoted following in Prague. A piece appearing in the Prager Neue Zeitung shortly after Mozart’s death expresses this sentiment: "Mozart seems to have written for the people of Bohemia, his music is understood nowhere better than in Prague, and even in the countryside it is widely loved." The Prague Symphony was written in gratitude for their high esteem. It had its premiere in Vienna, on December 6, 1786, and was performed in Prague a month later.

Bohm conducts the allegro of the first movement:

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