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On demand: Mozart Symphony No. 40 (November 2013)

KonserthusetPlayRecorded at Konserthuset Stockholm: Stora Salen, Stockholm, Sweden

Elegance and refinement, as well as restlessness and worry characterise Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra performs this musical accomplishment under the baton of Sakari Oramo.

In the summer of 1788, a few years before his death, Mozart wrote his final three symphonies in a short time. Three of the greatest musical masterpieces were thus created, despite the fact that the conditions were far from ideal. He had financial worries; his wife Constanze was ill; and the opera Don Giovanni was not especially successful at the Vienna Opera, unlike Prague.

And so he withdrew and over the course of nine weeks, he composed his absolute greatest and most sophisticated symphonies. The fortieth is the second of the three, and one of only two of all his symphonic works in a minor key. Another incredible fact is that these three symphonies were not commissioned by anyone.

What we are hearing is Mozart as a free composer. Otherwise, he always had a client with certain expectations. Already in the introduction, we hear the freely innovative Mozart as he has the orchestra begin accompanied by the alto violins. The melodies throughout comprise short motifs, and only in the second movement do the dark traits release their grip on the music. 

Recording from 20 & 21 November 2013.

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