Mozart symphony no. 10 in G

performed by the ASMF/Marriner This one was likely written during Mozart’s first journey to Italy, completed in 1770. That’s about all the information we get from Wikipedia about this piece. Mozart would then have been a young teenager.

The first movement is pleasant enough, very classical, with high horns responding to lots of strings. The first part of this movement has a delightful dainty sort of energy. The only non-strings are oboes and horns. This string-heavy orchestration makes it feel even more classical and antique than some of his earlier pieces. What feels like a second movement is actually just the second part of the first movement, in 3/4. This part is unique, and it rather surprises me. It strikes me as interesting for Mozart, at least this early. It’s a key change, and maybe a change of key too, but it feels uncharacteristic of him, but in a good way. It’s unexpectedly modern-sounding passage in an otherwise typically classical piece.

The last movement (technically the second) is again happy and lively. The horns have some more very high lines. The Wikipedia article says nothing about a harpsichord in the orchestration, but I hear one.

I don’t know if it’s just that I’m just in a serious Romantic kick (Sibelius’ first two symphonies and his amazing violin concerto, and I’m preparing another post on a big symphony I had the opportunity to hear live last week as well. That will hopefully get done today too), or that this symphony is just mine minutes of pretty run-of-the-mill Classical-era writing, because I am not overly dazzled or moved. It’s nice, especially for a prepubescent composer from 250 years ago, but I’m not drawn to it like I am to Sibelius lately.


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