Mozart Symphony No. 5 in Bb

performed by ASMF under Sir Neville Marriner

Mozart Monday!

This is how I will get through his symphonies. That makes it sound like torture. It isn’t that bad. They are very pleasant, but again, I am just not thrilled about the classical period (yet).

Symphony number five was written while Mozart was still only nine years old, at The Hague.

Still very short, still only in three movements. I notice that it seems the harpsichord takes a more background role in this work, and the horns are very much in the forefront. They sing in an almost unpleasantly high register at the beginning of the first movement, mourn through the sad second Gm movement, and carry us through the third, also in the higher resister. They are nearly ever-present, and it’s nice when I can get a break and hear only strings and harpsichord for a bit. This last movement comes in at less than 90 seconds, but there are still a few places where both the horn players and the listeners can get a break.

The slow movement is noticeably more mournful. Mozart was apparently recovering from a serious illness at the time, although that isn’t to say it had anything to do with this movement; the others are as Classically cheery as ever.

I don’t dislike the music of the Classical period like I dislike the music of serialism. I can’t even say I dislike it. I just don’t enjoy it as much as other music. I certainly find most of it pleasant, but in a passive, nice-in-the-background kind of way. That’s that.


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