Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 20 in D major, K. 133. The work was composed in July, 1772, when the composer was sixteen years old. This symphony is one of many written during the period Mozart stayed in Salzburg, between two trips to Italy. Compared to other symphonies Mozart wrote in this period, the scoring is extravagant, featuring two trumpets in addition to the standard oboes, horns, and strings. The key of D major, which is a key often reserved for ceremonial music, is well suited to the presence of these trumpets. This symphony seems to be a milestone for Mozart, further separating him from simply the “gallant” style and he puts more of his own unique personality and energy into the work.

The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two horns, two trumpets and strings. There are four movements:

  1. Allegro. The first movement, in D major and 4/4 time, is written in sonata-allegro form, with the notable deviation of the recapitulation being the mirror image of the exposition. That is, the recapitulation starts with the second theme, and Mozart waits until the very end to unveil the return of the first theme. He does so by first bringing the theme in softly with the strings, then repeating with the strings now doubled by the trumpets.
  2. Andante. The second movement, in A major and 2/4, features strings with a solo flute, which typically doubles the first violin one octave higher. The violins play with mutes throughout the movement, and the bass part is played pizzicato. These features, in combination, give the movement a delicate texture.
  3. Menuetto; Trio. This minuet in D major starts boldly. A more subdued trio written primarily for strings (with a bit of oboe).
  4. [Allegro]. The fourth movement, also in D major, is a long dance in 12/8 time cast in sonata-allegro form. Though Mozart himself did not label the tempo of the fourth movement, the character of the piece and the standard symphonic form of the time indicates that Mozart probably intended the piece to go at an “allegro” tempo.


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened andantemoderato.com to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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