Mozart – Symphony No. 6

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, K. 43. Mozart composed this symphony in 1767, when he was 11 years old. It is his first symphony in the key of F.

The symphony is in four movements, and its initial performance was at Brno on 30 December 1767. This is Mozart’s first four-movement symphony.

  1. Allegro, 4/4
  2. Andante, 2/4
  3. Menuetto and Trio, 3/4
  4. Allegro, 6/8

According to Alfred Einstein in his 1937 revision of the Köchel catalogue, the symphony was probably begun in Vienna and completed in Olomouc, a Moravian town to which the Mozart family fled to escape a Viennese smallpox epidemic. The symphony is in four movements, and is Mozart’s first in the key of F. Its initial performance was at Brno on 30 December 1767. The autograph of the score is today preserved in the Biblioteka Jagiellońska in Kraków.

The instrumentation for the first performance was: 2 flutes; 2 oboes; 2 horns; bassoon; strings and keyboard continuo. The flutes are used in the second movement in place of the oboes. For the first time in a symphony, Mozart uses two obligatory viola parts. This is Mozart’s first four-movement symphony, in which he introduces the Minuet and Trio for the first time, a feature common in many of his symphonies thereafter.

The Andante movement uses a theme from Mozart’s early Latin opera Apollo et Hyacinthus, K. 38, in which “muted violins sing over pizzicato seconds and divided violas, a ravishing effect”. The symphony was included in a concert arranged by Count von Schrattenbach, brother of the Archbishop of Salzburg, given by the Mozart family on 30 December 1767 at the Taverna in Brno. A local clergyman recorded: “I attended a musical concert in a house in the city known as the “Taverna”, at which a Salzburg boy of eleven years and his sister of fifteen years, accompanied on various instruments by inhabitants of Brno, excited everyone’s admiration”.

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