performed by the ASMF/Marriner
This is one of Mozart’s later childhood symphonies. He would still have been only about fifteen. It was written in Salzburg.
Also, this is a very half-hearted Mozart Monday. Partially because I’m exhausted, and partially because this symphony was…. just another early Mozart symphony. There’s nothing bad about that, but there’s nothing spectacular about it either.
A few things to note, though. It is in four movements, and the first is longer than any movement he had written up until that time. I suppose this symphony is close to being the longest of his symphonies so far, maybe. It clocks in at around 18 minutes, which is shorter than some individual movements of Romantic symphonies.
Aside from noticing that it is longer, it’s also generally more developed. I suppose that’s related to it being longer, as well, but it’s developed vertically (harmonically) rather than just being longer. More interesting things happen that make it sound fuller and richer, and there are more ideas that hang around for longer.
The first and fourth movements are the most interesting, and while that’s not to say the second and third movements are boring, they are somewhat of the same texture. The second movement is pleasant, no doubt there, but the symphony is bookended by Allegros that are much more interesting.
I’m eager to get past the early childhood symphonies, dispense with the very Baroque-sounding continuo (harpsichord) and get on to his later stuff. I’m not sure when that is (when the harpsichord goes and it sounds at least a tad bit more modern) but it will be interesting to see what happens (or continues to from this week’s symphony) as Mozart gets older.
Also, in this period and his middle period (the Salzburg-era symphonies) there are chunks of symphonies that are considered to be spurious. They are given numbers in the Köchel catalogue, but not sequential symphony numbers (anymore, anyway). These I will be ignoring if for no other purpose than it’s just a lot more listening to what isn’t especially my favorite music. That’s that for that. See you next week for another Mozart Monday (the last of the childhood symphonies). Stay tuned also for two (yes TWO!) bits on favorite symphonies of mine I’ll be seeing live this week.