Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. He died in Vienna 1791.
He was taught performance and compasition by his father, Leopold Mozart, who was also a composer.
Wolfgang showed his musical talent at a very young age, he composed his first piece of music when he was just 5 years old. By the time he was 10 he had toured Europe, performed for kings and queens and written his first opera.
He went on to write over 600 peices of music including operas, masses, symphonies anc concertios. He also worte smaller works like chamber music and string quartets.
He is still considered the greatest composer that has ever lived,
Mozart wrote over 40 symphonies in his short life.
He wrote most of his symphonies when he was 25, then took a break from them - he could make more money out of writing concertos and get a better repuation from writing operas.
He returned to writing symphonies later on - Symphony No.40 was written in 1788. It's one of his only two symphonies in a minor key (both in Gminor)
He wrote symphony No.40 and two others in just 6 weeks.
This symphony was written for a fairly small orchestra - there is no precussion at all, and the only brass instruments are french horns (not trmpets)
The original version didnt have clairnets because they'd only just been invented. Mozart wrote another version later that included them, this is the later version.
The four movements.
Like most symphonies, symphony No.40 in G Minor has four movements. What is unual is that Mozart uses Sonata form for three movements, not just one or two.
The names of the movements are just the tempos.
First Movement - Molto Allegro - sonata form
Second Movement - Andante - sonata form
Third Movement - Allegretto - minuet and trio form
Fourth movement Aleegro assai - sonata form.
Bars 1-100 The exposition (Bars 1-28)
First Subject (Bars 1 -28)
1) The first idea lasts from bars 1-9 ( there is NOT an introduction!), then the second idea is heard in bars 9-14. Both ideas are played by violins (the two parts are playing in octaves).
2) The first three notes of the first idea are repeated throughout the first subject- the second idea starts with these notes but a 6th higher.
3) This movement is marked P (piano) at the start, this is very unusal for a classical symphony as they normally have a loud opening.
4)It's in G minor, but it modulates (changes key) to Bb major, when the subject is repeated in bars 20-28/.
Bars 1-100 The exposition (Bars 28-43)
Transition or bridge passage
1) This section is F (forte) all the way through with lots of sfz (sforzandos) from bar 34.
2) This section begins in Bb major, but extra chromatic notes add tension
3) The violins play a descending sequence from bars 30-33, over a lower string tremelo with sustained notes from the upper wood wind.
Bars 1-100 The exposition (Bars 44-72)
1) The second subject's in Bb major, though Mozart uses a lot of chromatic notes in this bit.
2) The strings play the theme first, then the woodwind repeat it at bar 52.
3) Mozart uses ornaments for the first time here, the woodwind play trills in bar 65.
Bars 1-100 The exposition (Bars 72-100)
1) A codetta is like a mini coda, it is used to finsih off the exposition section.
2) There is lots of imitation between the clarinet and the bassoon.
3) The key changes back from Bb major to G minor at the end of this bit.
4) The whole of the exposition is repeated,
The development Bars 101-164
1) All the music in the development section is based on the first idea from the exposition
2) The harmonies are more chromatic in this bit.
3) The deveopment section begins in F# minor, but it explores lots of different keys.
4) From bar 140, Mozart uses a lot of pedal points.
The Recapitualtion Bars 164-299
1) The first subject bars 164-184 is exactly the same as in the expostition.
2) The bridge passage is much longer this time (Lasts from bar 185-227). It passes through quite a few keys including Eb major, F minor and D major. It's polyphonic - in bars 202-210, there is a sequence being played in canon between violin I and the lower strings.
3) The second subject (bars 227-260) is shared between the woodwind and the strings. This time it's in G minor, and there are some ascending chromatic notes in the bass parts from bar 245.
4) The coda (bars 260-299) is an extended version of the codetta. Its finishes with four G Minor chords.