Mozart's cross to bear in his teen years was the interference, both personal and creative, of his father. The autograph score of the Symphony in D bears notations in Leopold's hand, and the date, most likely August of 1773, appears also to have been fussed with. While the authenticity of the work is not in doubt, its origins and sources remain so, and its place in the sequence of his works can be no more than inferred. Most probably, it was composed, originally as an orchestral serenade, as a salute to a family friend, Judas Thaddäus Antretter, who was completing his fourth year at Salzburg University. The symphony version is presumed to have followed shortly and is thus assigned the 167a Köchel number. Not yet in full stride as a writer of symphonies -- he was, after all, seventeen years old -- Mozart allows the pomp of academic ceremony, generously mixed with jubilation, to drive the music. Setting the work in the key of D, as he did years later with the incredible Prague Symphony, gives it an immediately bright tone and the first movement, allegro assai, begins aggressively with a great, arching ten-note theme. This persists through an expansive sonata form movement with coda. The tempo indication for the second movement, andante grazioso, appears on the autograph score in Leopold's hand, and the music here is more lyrical and less pompous. The third movement minuet begins with yet another great, stomping theme, as if Mozart is overdoing the solemnity of the academic occasion. And even though Romanticsm and symphonic program music are still decades in the future, the music conjures images of academic pomposity rather than graceful dancers. The finale is a wondrous thing, opening with a solemn introduction which gives way to an incredible jig in 6/8 time. It is a large symphonic sonata-form movement in which Mozart tosses off brilliant modulations and convoluted phrasing which, as always, resolve perfectly. As if to stress to his friend that graduation is not an ending, the movement actually seems to end twice, only to resume unexpectedly to further adventure, before finally finding its breathless conclusion on the third try.
Description by Michael Morrison
- Allegro assai
- Menuetto & Trio
- Andante grazioso
- Menuetto & Trio 1, 2
- Allegro assai
|2006||Universal Classics & Jazz|