Mozart completed all the works we will hear at this concert between 1782 and 1790.
The ‘Haffner’ Symphony (1782) evolved from a serenade hastily written for the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner the Younger, a childhood friend of Mozart. Previously, in 1776 Sigmund Haffner the Younger had commissioned a serenade for the wedding of Marie Elizabeth Haffner to Franz Xavier Spath. This work became the famous ‘Haffner Serenade’. In 1782 Mozart’s Father wrote to his son asking that he write a serenade forthe ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner the Younger. The Mozarts had known SigmundHaffner’s father, who had been mayor of Salzburg and had helped the Mozarts on their early tours in Europe. Although Mozart was very busy writing composing, teaching, moving house and marrying Constanze Weber, he sent his father sections of the music, but it is doubtful the serenade was completed in time for the ennoblement. On receiving the score back from his father in December 1782, Mozart was so impressed with his hastily written serenade that he decided to convert the serenade into a symphony, the ‘Haffner Symphony’.
The overture to the ‘Marriage of Figaro’ (1786) is very lively and jolly. It is one of the most played orchestral works. The Marriage of Figaro is a comic opera and the overture, although it does not contain themes from the opera, captures its witty mood.
The ‘Jupiter’ Symphony in C (1788) includes all the best features of Mozart’s style – simplicity and complexity; melodic invention; emotional depth; operatic humour; playful touches and some grandeur – that resulted in an amazing five-movement work. Mozart wrote his last three symphonies in about nine weeks, and these represent the summit of his symphonic writing. His ‘Jupiter’ Symphony has inspired many composers. Haydn used it as a model for his symphonies numbers 95 and 98. Robert Schumann wrote ‘About many things in this world there is simply nothing to be said – for example, about Mozart’s C-Major symphony with the fugue….’
The opera, ‘Cosi fan Tutte’, was composed in 1790, near the end of Mozart’s life (he died in 1791). Its title loosely translates as ‘all women are like that’. The opera’s crazy plot is about a wager that no woman can stay faithful to her lover. The overture brings the musical voices to life and, as often with Mozart’s music, seems to be infused with a sense of effortless perfection.
Tickets are £15.Under 25s free.
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