Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No. 12 in G major, K. 110 (K. 75b)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Mozart visited Italy with his father in 1770, writing several symphonies and an opera, Mitridate, rè di Ponto, while there. The pair returned to Salzburg in March 1771, and in July Mozart produced this G major Symphony, which broke somewhat from the Italian influence noticeable in the three-movement symphonies immediately preceding it. The Symphony No. 12 consists of four movements, with two outer Allegros framing an Andante and Menuetto.

    The first movement opens with a vibrant, joyous theme of mostly rising contour played by the strings. The second subject glides downward playfully and bounces smartly back up. A second theme, given by oboes, offers imaginative contrast in its initially subdued character, but it, too, springs to life vibrantly. Thematic development is relatively limited here and does not break from the bright, energetic mood of the expository sections.

    The ensuing Andante features a charming, spirited theme (livelier than its tempo marking might normally suggest), first played by the strings. Flutes and bassoons are added to the scoring here along with some humorous touches: listen to the deliberately sour downward swoops by the strings. This cheerful slow movement is followed by an elegant Minuet that features a subdued trio for strings that deftly mixes the mysterious with the playful. The Finale, at just over two minutes, is the shortest movement here, but easily the most effervescent and energetic. The ebullient main theme seems to wind up, then tumble gracefully downward, only to go through the process again and again. The brief middle section alternates somewhat tranquil, almost dreamy music with boisterous, hearty music. While this symphony is not one of Mozart's most popular or inspired efforts, it is nonetheless a strong work of undeniable charm.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Andante
    3. Menuetto & Trio
    4. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 88875173752
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Dacapo 8201201
    2013 Zebralution
    2013 Naxos 8501109
    2012 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186462
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94295
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Dacapo / Danmark 6220539
    2009 Denon Records
    2008 Haenssler 93230
    2008 Telarc Distribution 80729
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2007 Haenssler 93212
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 002894776134
    2006 Philips 4647702
    2006 Philips
    2005 Brilliant 92110
    2005 Brilliant 92543
    2005 Brilliant 92540
    2004 Naxos 8501107
    2003 EMI Music Distribution 85589
    2003 Telarc Distribution 80273
    2003 Brilliant 99730
    2003 PentaTone Classics 5186112
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471666
    1999 Philips 422500
    1999 Past Perfect / Trumpets of Jericho 203300
    1998 Arts Music 47277
    1997 Philips 454085
    1997 452496
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 4532312
    1995 Naxos 550873
    1993 Archiv Produktion 437792
    1991 Telarc Distribution 80300
    1990 Philips 422501
    Trumpets of Jericho 203303
    Deutsche Grammophon 431711
    Brilliant 92625
    Brilliant Classics 8635/2
    Brilliant 92625/2
    Brilliant 92543/2
    Brilliant 99730/2
    Brilliant 92110/2
    L'Oiseau-Lyre 417518
    MCA 9808