We first discussed Mozart in August 2010. He had written 41 symphonies in his short life, and we're going to be listening to number 40. This symphony was written in 1788. Mozart would die three years later.
Of all of Mozart's symphonies, the last two (40 and 41) are the most well-known. The 40th Symphony is written in G minor. The minor key gives it a sad or dark feel. This was one of two symphonies written in a minor key (the other was the 25th).
Like most symphonies, there are four movements:
- Molto allegro (very fast)
- Andante (at a walking pace)
- Menuetto (in the style of a minuet)
- Allegro assai (very fast)
The first movement is the most well-known, and that's what we'll have you listen to, but the whole symphony is wonderful.
Jon's Introduction to This Piece:
We had recordings of this piece as far back as I can remember. I don't remember specifically targeting the 40th symphony until I was probably around 12. I definitely knew the melody of the first movement long before I knew the name of the piece. I don't know anything about who performed on the recording we had, but I do remember that the jacket was blue. In fact, it was a picture of the conductor, but it looked like a photo negative. The label on the vinyl album was also a navy blue.
This was a piece I made sure was in my collection of cassettes that came with me on my mission.
So here's the first movement of the symphony. Enjoy!