Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Time: 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Location: University Theatre, Administration building, room ADM026
Mozart composed this wonderful symphony in the autumn of 1783. After an emotionally strained visit with his family in Salzburg, he and his wife Constanze stopped in the city of Linz during their return journey to Vienna.
They enjoyed the hospitality of Count Thun, a music-loving nobleman whose wealth allowed him the luxury of his own orchestra. As a gesture of gratitude to his host, and since he had no previously written symphony with him, Mozart composed this work for him. Written in just four days, it has been known as the "Linz" Symphony ever since.
Count Thun's orchestra included trumpets and timpani, but neither flutes nor clarinets. These practical considerations posed no problems to Mozart's creativity, but they did influence both the sound and character of his new symphony. So, too, did his experience of working with expert Viennese orchestras and the increasing seriousness of his approach to creating this type of piece. The symphony shows no signs of haste. Rather, it displays the hand of a total professional who knew precisely what was required of him.
It is also his first symphony with a slow introduction to its opening movement, a practice that his friend Joseph Haydn used to great effect on many occasions. This example is bold and imposing, setting the refreshing and athletic allegro that follows into sharp relief. In the wake of so much energy, Mozart provides a breather through the serene sweetness of the ensuing andante. The menuetto is an especially regal affair, dignified and stately. The finale, a cheerful, headlong romp, hails straight from the world of comic opera.
Last reviewed 2/5/2013 2:15:17 PM
Associate Professor of Philosophy
The University of British Columbia