After my disappointment with the “Paris Symphony”, I’m going to jump backwards in his catalogue to check out another revered work, the so-called “little G minor” symphony. Of course, it can only be retroactively called that because of his “Great G Minor Symphony”, which I already wrote about on day 2 of this project.
Was the “Paris” symphony styled for a specific audience, or was it indicative of his development as a symphony composer during this period?
Once again, I’m listening to Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Symphony no. 25 in G minor, K. 183
1. Allegro con brio
- Immediately establishes mood
- Syncopated rhythms
- Solo oboe line is very cool.
- Modulation to major is surprisingly buoyant.
- Lots of variety just in the exposition. Each section has its own clear feeling.
- Development is instantly interesting.
- Use of dynamics is fluid, though there’s plenty of strong contrasting moments as well.
- Horns are used effectively.
- Recapitulation in minor is terrific. That “buoyant” major modulation from earlier now remains foreboding.
- Rumbling coda.
- Opening subverts our sense of time.
- Atmospheric in a way. Uses this eighth note figure repeatedly throughout.
- Spends a lot of time in minor, although this movement is in Eb Major.
3. Minuet and trio
- I went and listened to a lot of Haydn string quartets and heard a lot of the back and forth on an interval of a second like Mozart does some here.
- Trio only for the winds and horns!
- Very nice contrast to the blustery minuet.
- Lots of syncopation again. Some of it is really fast and gives those passages a kind of wild feeling.
- Exciting ending. Maintains a kind of stylistic unity throughout the symphony as a whole.
- There’s so much happening here even though this is using the smaller Classical Period orchestra. Follow along in the sheet music to get a better sense of it. It all fits though.
I really enjoyed this. I’ve heard the first movement before plenty of times (it’s just one of those movements), though the rest was much less familiar to me. The piece feels like it has some sense of unity through the movements. Mozart from the very beginning establishes a sense of mood. He was very good at using minor keys for this purpose. If you think about the Requiem or Don Giovanni or Symphony 40, he has a way with minor keys that seem particularly Mozartian.
As for its comparison to the “Paris” symphony, I find it very different. He used many of the same effects between the two pieces, but here they strike me as more developed and interesting. I can’t say for certain why that is.
Until next time.