Friday, November 25, 2005

 

Mozart: the Last Three "Great" Symphonies

The last three "great" Symphonies of Mozart were all written during one year (1788), an almost startling confirmation of the spontaneity and rapidity of Mozart's creative method. They were completed in less than nine weeks. The first was the Symphony in E-flat Major (K.543), finished June 26; the second was the Symphony in G Minor (K.550), completed in July; the third was the "Jupiter" Symphony, Symphony in C Major (K.551), completed on August 10. And they do not betray the slightest evidence of superficiality or haste; nothing that the master ever brought forth manifests greater depth, finer artistic discrimination, or more flawless technical workmanship than these three wonderful Symphonies. They occupy together such a uniformly high plane of excellence that it is futile to single out any one of the three as the "best" or most enduring, although they represent, viewed broadly, three clearly differentiated moods---the one in E-flat major suave, that in G minor somber, and that in C major heroic.

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