Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No. 41 in C major ("Jupiter"), K. 551

    Description by Michael Rodman

    The near-quarter century that separates Mozart's first symphony and his last -- the Symphony No. 41 in C major (1788) -- was marked by the composer's recurrent, if not ongoing, interest in the possibilities inherent in this form. Upon examination of the chronology of Mozart's works, one finds that the composition of his symphonies tends to occur in irregularly spaced groups, of as many as nine or ten examples in a row, rather than regularly or singly. What this might suggest, aside from any financially based motivation, is that he employed these various periods specifically for the working out of the problems and challenges of the symphonic form. In surveying these works, one finds that the prominent benchmarks increase almost geometrically as time progresses, so that by the production of the "Jupiter" Symphony two years before his death -- as part of a group of three composed within the space of less than three months -- the full extent of the evolution which has taken place is striking indeed.

    The Symphony No. 41 aptly embodies what is now identified as a paradigm of Classical symphonic form: four movements, the first and last in a quick tempo, the second slower, the third a minuet with trio. Unencumbered by norms suggested by any model, however, Mozart's deft imagination distinguishes this work from others in a similar cast. The first movement is characterized in part by the dramatic and effective employment of unexpected pauses in the rhythmic flow through the use of rests, a trait shared with and perhaps influenced by the symphonies of Haydn. After an initial regularity, irregular and changing phrase lengths contribute as well to the dramatic impetus. The serene F major quietude of the second movement's opening is soon disrupted, posed against more restless, rhythmically insistent minor-key episodes. This calm/dark conflict continues throughout, the initial spirit eventually prevailing. The falling chromatic theme and flowing, even accompaniment of the Minuet set a graceful tone for the third movement. The companion Trio provides an earthier, more overtly dancelike mood, which is, however, interrupted by a suddenly more serious tutti outburst. The final movement is exceptional for the richness of its contrapuntal language, a somewhat unexpected -- and, some of Mozart's contemporaries would venture, unfashionable -- attribute in a symphonic work of the time. The four-note motive that begins the movement is put through its paces in a number of guises, most prominently as the beginning of a recurrent canon and fugue subject which occurs both as originally presented and in inversion. The effect is one not of academicism but of great tension and dramatic impulse which, borne bristling and in search of resolution, finds its resting place only in the final bars.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro vivace
    2. Andante cantabile
    3. Menuetto & Trio. Allegretto
    4. Molto allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 RCA Red Seal 88985376042
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795805
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796314
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 88875173752
    2016 Decca
    2016 ABC Classics ABC 4812880
    2016 Edition Taschenphilharmonie / Sony Music ETP 005
    2016 Philips
    2016 Warner Classics 0825646400713
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795553
    2015 Naxos 8572842
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794306
    2015 DUX / Dux Records DUX 1196
    2015 IDIS 6705
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 Glossa GCD 921121
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Opus KURA OPK 2107
    2014 Sony Classical 88843014642
    2014 Gramola 90017
    2014 Berlin Classics 0300587BC
    2014 K-Tel 135919
    2014 Rewind REW 520
    2014 Glossa GCD 921119
    2014 Linn Records CKD 540
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Sony Classical 88843026352
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 K-Tel 87309
    2013 ICA Classics ICAC 5102
    2013 Dacapo 8201201
    2013 Sony Classical 5478092
    2013 MDG
    2013 Dacapo 6220639
    2013 Naxos 8501109
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon 002894791046GB41
    2013 Supraphon SU 41402
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099963565
    2012 Naxos 8501060
    2012 K-Tel 56873
    2012 Myto Historical / Myto Historical Line MCD 00317
    2012 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2012 Harmonia Mundi HMX 2901958
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 4783621
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099995593
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 Concerto 2063
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94295
    2011 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099909637
    2011 ABC Classics ABC 4764561
    2011 Denon Records
    2011 Erato
    2011 Soli Deo Gloria 711
    2011 Decca UCGD 9020
    2011 Red Bus Classical RCLAS 022
    2011 Nimbus / Nimbus Records NI 7093
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    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4779111
    2010 Sony Classical 8869768365
    2010 Cascavelle 3119
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    2010 Apex 256498071
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Decca
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    2010 Teldec / Warner Classics 256469004
    2010 Sony Classical 8869776152
    2010 Sony Classical 88697771282
    2009 Berlin Classics 0149572
    2009 Medici Arts 19
    2009 Delta / Zebralution
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    2009 First Hand Records 5
    2009 Document / Membran 231754
    2009 Oehms Classics 742
    2009 Denon Records 00795041940728
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    2009 Landscape Classics / Zebralution
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    2009 Brilliant Classics 93287
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    2009 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 07021
    2009 Document / Documents 224042
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    2008 Orfeo 773084
    2008 Universal Classics & Jazz
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    2008 Arte Nova Classics 464950
    2008 Berlin Classics 0184322
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    2008 ZYX Music 10319
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    2008 Archiv Produktion 001142602
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    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099951203
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    2008 Oehms Classics 916
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    2006 Edel Classics 2612
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    2002 Virgin 562010
    2002 Classica d'Oro 1067
    2002 Living Stage 35159
    2002 Opus KURA 2023
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471666
    2002 Classica d'Oro 9007
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    2001 Golden Melodram 40048
    2001 CBC Records 5150
    2001 Berlin Classics 0017132
    2001 Music Digital 40502
    2001 Forlane 12
    2001 Classica d'Oro 1017
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 74185
    2001 Philips 464721
    2001 Deutsche Grammophon 469620
    2001 Lifestyles 215003
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    2000 Tring 001
    2000 Direct Source 66172
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    2000 Capriccio Records 49514
    2000 Delta Distribution 49385
    2000 Orfeo 498991
    2000 Arkadia 78505
    2000 Tuxedo Music 1069
    2000 Amadis 7033
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    2000 EMI Music Distribution 67334
    2000 Arkadia 78523
    2000 Nouveau 4438
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469 160-2GP2
    2000 Disky 70594
    2000 Laserlight 15866
    2000 Lifestyles 315009
    1999 Music & Arts 897
    1999 IDIS 299/300
    1999 Philips 422500
    1999 MDG MDG605 0858-2
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 447398
    1999 Past Perfect / Trumpets of Jericho 203300
    1999 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 503
    1999 Platinum Entertainment 3857
    1999 Sony Classical 60973
    1999 Madacy 8401
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 415305
    1999 Arkadia 78541
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon / Eloquence 4632322
    1999 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243573290
    1999 Angel Records 73631
    1999 Seraphim Classics
    1999 Intersound 3854
    1999 Platinum Entertainment 3855
    1999 IDIS 297/8
    1998 Nimbus NI1756
    1998 Digital Sound 1025
    1998 Denon Records 17003
    1998 Orfeo D'Or 486981
    1998 Grammofono 2000 78793
    1998 Virgin 561451-2
    1998 London 460615
    1998 6w 11522
    1998 Masterpiece 90016
    1998 Intersound 2804
    1998 Teldec 4509974902
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 4579242
    1998 Intersound 3841
    1997 Columbia River Entertainment Group 1144
    1997 Disky 703122
    1997 Otello 1003
    1997 Grammofono 2000 78026
    1997 Arte Nova 74321 46495-2
    1997 Philips 454085
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63272
    1997 Eclipse Records 64349
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453046
    1997 Teldec 18957
    1997 Essential Archive 5012
    1997 Madacy 8827
    1997 Point Classics 265091
    1997 London 452 889-2DCS
    1997 Testament 1093
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 66100
    1997 Arts Music 47363
    1997 Decca 4489242
    1997 452496
    1997 Magic Talent 48054
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    1997 Eclipse Records 2688432
    1997 Michele Audio 1001
    1996 Vox Box 5524
    1996 Gemini Collection 614
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 4532312
    1996 Intersound 2505
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    1996 EMI Music Distribution 65938
    1996 Elysium GRK710
    1996 Preiser Records 90303
    1996 Philips 426204
    1996 Intersound 3080
    1995 Infinity Digital 61994
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 66248
    1995 Orfeo 376941
    1995 Art of Classics 885907
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    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 445548
    1995 Seraphim UK 568531
    1995 Music & Arts CD-833
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    1995 Madacy 5601
    1995 Philips 446 222-2PB25
    1995 Madacy 7630
    1995 Intersound 3804
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 23239
    1994 Classical Heritage 1202
    1994 Infinity Digital 57231
    1994 Novalis E 150060-2
    1994 Deutsche Grammophon 4373862
    1994 Teldec 93667
    1994 Virgin 561133-2
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    1994 Madacy 1013
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    1994 Naxos 8003
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    1993 Philips 426315
    1993 Sony Music Distribution 46333
    1993 Rose Records 450 034-2
    1993 Naxos 550113
    1993 RCA 61397
    1993 Philips 438333
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 47264
    1992 Deutsche Grammophon 435 592-2GGA
    1992 Naxos 550299
    1992 Teldec 9031-75861-2
    1991 ASV 761
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 63897
    1991 Telarc Distribution 80300
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    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 429731
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    1990 Laserlight 15511
    1990 Philips 422 502-2PME6
    1990 CBS Records 44649
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    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 413547
    1989 Laserlight 15829
    1989 Laserlight 15820
    1987 Deutsche Grammophon 415841
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    1980 Tahra 154
    History 204555
    Delta Distribution 15866
    BBC Music Magazine 78
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    Claremont Recordings 785055
    RCA 6376
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    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Centurion Classics 10005
    EMI Music Distribution 63912
    Palladio 4169
    Document 220823-303
    Musicbank
    IMP Classics 2013
    Fonit-Cetra Italia 505
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    Decca 001078802
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    Stradivari 6121
    Vivace 314
    Seraphim UK 69733
    Hallmark Recordings 350042
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    Trumpets of Jericho 203310
    Sony Music Distribution 46511
    IMP Classics 1100
    Masters of the Millennium 2002
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    Collins Records 3046
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    Art Composer's Gallery 003670
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    Eurodisc 69253
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