Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No. 28 in C major, K. 200 (K. 189k)

    Description by Roger Dettmer

    Mozart composed this symphony in either 1773 or 1774 for Salzburg. If 1774 is correct, then No. 28 followed rather than preceded Nos. 29 and 30. Like all but four symphonies (Nos. 25, 29, 31, 34) written before his escape in 1781 from the employ of Salzburg's autocratic Archbishop, No. 28 has been overshadowed by his last six symphonies, beginning with the "Haffner" of 1782 (No. 35). Symphonies 28 and 33 (in B flat, K. 319) were written in major keys and deserve a fuller life than occasional performances. No. 28 is more extroverted; typically, Mozart added trumpets and timpani to the usual pairs of horns and oboes (or flutes). For some mavens it echoes (or anticipates) works ranging from Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony of 1772 to his own The Magic Flute of 1791. However, despite comic implications in the scurrying Presto finale, he eschewed ironies and sentiment.

    Decorative embellishments throughout are hallmarks of a style Mozart mastered when his father exploited him far and wide as a child prodigy. In Salzburg, Wolfgang came under the tutelary wing of Michael Haydn, who coaxed him to invest his music with deeper feelings than previously risked. Beginning with Symphony No. 25, Mozart responded remarkably. During the slow movement of No. 28, minor-key measures cast shadows on the landscape as if from passing clouds. The Menuetto begins conventionally, albeit with themes of "symphonic" character, but the second subject of the trio (for strings only, marked forte) has chromatic accidentals that intensify expressiveness. So does the use of sonata form in all but the Menuetto movements.

    Allegro spiritoso characterizes the first movement in 3/4 time, with its four-chord downward arpeggio before the fun begins in the violins. There's a key change for the longer second subject, plus a brief closing theme in C major. After an exposition repeat, the principal theme not only dominates a short, spicy development, but leads off the reprise and coda, too.

    The 2/4 Andante in F major opens with an aria-like, legato main theme for muted violins, but it is the third, closing subject (in sixteenth notes) that occupies a brief development section.

    Mozart modifies Menuetto with Allegretto and assigns the horns two five-note measures without accompaniment for the third movement. This is a danceable minuet with oboes doubling both song-section themes for violins.

    Nobody but Mozart, even at 17 (or 18), could write Presto finales as insouciant as this one. Craftsmanship is masterly, the more astonishing when it's remembered that this isn't the usual rondo-finale, but sonata form. The violins' trilled main-theme, like the whir of hummingbird wings, is the principal subject of both the development and a brief coda, wherein oboes double the trills -- thrills in fact, given the challenge of Mozart's vivacious tempo.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro spiritoso
    2. Andante
    3. Menuetto & Trio. Allegretto
    4. Presto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794306
    2015 Melodiya MELCD 1002300
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Testament SBT2 1499
    2014 Sony Classical 88843045052
    2013 Dacapo 8201201
    2013 Naxos 8501109
    2012 Gramola GLA 98956
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94295
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Dacapo 6220543
    2010 Decca
    2010 Sony Classical 8869776152
    2009 First Hand Records 5
    2009 Denon Records
    2008 Audite 23407
    2008 Haenssler 93230
    2008 Haenssler 93216
    2008 Telarc Distribution 80729
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2007 Decca 4758473
    2007 L'Oiseau-Lyre 4758711
    2007 Decca 4759120
    2007 Decca
    2007 EMI Classics 87894
    2007 Audite 95591
    2006 Sony Music Distribution 86793
    2006 Edel Classics 2612
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 002894776134
    2006 Philips 4647702
    2006 Warner Music 62334
    2006 Sony Music Distribution 678765
    2006 Philips
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 4775254
    2005 Berlin Classics 0094732
    2005 Brilliant 92543
    2005 Brilliant 92110
    2005 Berlin Classics 0183972BC
    2005 Brilliant 92540
    2004 Sony Classical 92762
    2004 Resonance 501
    2004 Naxos 8501107
    2003 Andante 4030
    2003 EMI Music Distribution 85589
    2003 Brilliant 99730
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 87989
    2002 Andante 4983
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471666
    2000 Amadis 7033
    1999 Philips 422500
    1999 Past Perfect / Trumpets of Jericho 203300
    1999 Angel Records 73631
    1997 Philips 454085
    1997 Sony Classical 62830
    1997 Point Classics 265053
    1997 452496
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 4532312
    1996 ASV 762
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 66248
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 64473
    1994 Naxos 550164
    1994 Naxos 8003
    1993 Naxos 505004
    1993 Teldec 91189
    1992 Vox 5072
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 48063
    1991 Telarc Distribution 80300
    1990 Telarc Distribution 80165
    1990 Philips 422 502-2PME6
    IMP Classics 9
    Trumpets of Jericho 203306
    Melodiya 1000003
    Deutsche Grammophon 435008
    EMI Music Distribution 63856
    IMP Classics 933
    Denon Records 77884
    Teldec
    ASV 6009
    ASV 510
    Philips 432177
    Sony Music Distribution 46515
    Lydian 18033
    Brilliant 92625
    Brilliant 92625/5
    Brilliant 99730/5
    Brilliant 92543/5
    Brilliant 92110/5
    Brilliant Classics 8635/5
    Discover 920288
    RCA 60715
    Donau 8033
    Philips Classics 412994
    L'Oiseau-Lyre 417841
    Amado Classics 01036