Conducted by Fabio Biondi, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G major, K. 74. Recorded at the hr-Sendesaal Frankfurt on June 10, 2021. Biondi is also the concertmaster (plays the 1st violin).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 10
Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74, was composed in 1770 during his first visit to Italy when he was just 14 years old. However, there has been some scholarly debate about the authenticity of the piece and its attribution to Mozart, with some speculating it may have been the work of his father, Leopold Mozart.
Symphony No. 10 shows the early promise of Mozart’s genius in its light-hearted charm and energy. Even though it’s not as ambitious or complex as his later works, this piece, like most of Mozart’s early symphonies, is still valued for its melodic inventiveness and the youthful vigor of its musical ideas.
The symphony is written in the classical style of the time and is shorter than most of his later symphonies. It was during his time in Italy that Mozart became influenced by the Italian style of composition, which would later play a significant role in shaping his unique musical language.
Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74, like many of his early symphonies, is structured in the standard fast-slow-fast format of the Italian symphony. This structure was a common feature of symphonic works from the classical period before the four-movement format became more prevalent. There are three movements, with start times in the video:
- Allegro [00:00]
- Andante [03:10]
- Allegro [05:29]
The first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74, is marked “Allegro,” indicating it should be played in a lively and fast manner. This movement, like many first movements in classical symphonies, is composed in sonata form, which comprises an exposition, development, and recapitulation.
In this movement, Mozart introduces two contrasting themes in the exposition, which are then developed and varied in the development section. In the recapitulation, the original themes are restated and the movement is concluded.
Mozart’s use of melody, harmony, and form in this first movement is characteristic of the early classical style. The Allegro tempo and major key lend the movement a bright, energetic feel. Even though it was composed early in his career, the movement reflects Mozart’s developing skills in thematic development and formal structure.
The second movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74, is marked “Andante”. This term instructs the music to be played at a moderately slow, walking pace.
As is typical for symphonic slow movements from this period, this Andante offers a contrast to the lively first movement. It provides an opportunity for the composer to explore more lyrical, expressive, and often introspective musical material.
While specific details about this particular movement might be hard to find due to the relative obscurity of this early symphony, it’s generally expected that Mozart’s use of melody, phrasing, and orchestration in this movement would be sensitive and refined, reflecting the slower tempo and more contemplative character of the Andante marking.
It’s also worth mentioning that the second movement of a symphony is often where we see a composer’s ability to evoke a broad range of emotions and create a sense of depth and complexity. Even at a young age, Mozart was noted for his ability to achieve this.
The finale of Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major, K. 74, like the first movement, is marked as “Allegro.” This implies a lively and brisk tempo, providing a spirited conclusion to the symphony.
In the classical period, the last movement of a symphony was often composed in a fast tempo to end the work on a high note. These movements were typically structured in sonata or rondo form, though the specific form of this movement isn’t widely documented due to the lesser-known status of this early work.
The Allegro marking indicates that this movement would be characterized by energetic rhythms, bright melodies, and an overall joyful character. Given Mozart’s style, listeners can expect engaging thematic material and clever manipulations of melody and rhythm, showcasing the young composer’s burgeoning musical intellect and creativity. This movement would bring the symphony to a satisfying and uplifting conclusion.
- Symphony No. 10 (Mozart) on Wikipedia
- Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 [Yuja Wang] - October 3, 2023
- Pavarotti sings Di Quella Pira at the Madison Square Garden, New York  - October 1, 2023
- Mozart: Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” [Bernard Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra] - September 30, 2023