Mozart Symphony no. 8 in D

Performed by the ASMF/Marriner

Mozart Monday from a special location: Milton, GA (another M, for Mozart Monday in Milton)

In this week’s MM, we find our family still in Vienna, even after they should have been back in Salzburg. It was finished in 1768.

This somehow feels super polished and although simple, tightly written and more mature, especially the first movement.

It is predominantly strings, with oboe and flute calling out between the action here and there in the Allegro. It has great motion and feeling, and I feel this has more dynamic expression than any of the precious pieces. Horns call out toward the end of the first movement, and timpani rumble in toward the end, which gives this piece a bigger feel.

The second movement is nice, again almost exclusively strings. At first listen, I didn’t hear any woodwinds until the third movement. There are none in the second. The simplicity of the Andante makes it feel almost like an interlude, as if something else is going on elsewhere. It’s almost chamber-y.

The menuetto feels slightly similar, but with more orchestration. Timpani and horns (or trumpets here?) make more appearances, and woodwinds are more apparent. The word that comes to my mind for this movement is ‘stately.’ It is very stately and properly classical, as if someone important should be walking by slowly. It is clever as well.

The allegro seems to build off of the menuetto, but is far more energetic and complex. It sounds almost like a round; there is some call and answer and more woodwind involvement. The first section repeats and then there is some kind of variation on that main theme for the last half… It almost sounds like a key change. It feels like it ends abruptly in this b-part of the main theme without a coda or a close or even any cadence I can identify.


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