Saturday 25 June 2022

Mozart's greatest crowd-pleaser? Opening movement of 'Paris' Symphony 31


From 1:23:20

Yesterday I listened to the first movement of Mozart's Paris Symphony 31 for the first time in a while; and was absolutely delighted by it - and found that I remembered almost everything. 

The piece was tailored for maximum impact on the Parisian audience, who apparently liked their music to be noisy and spectacular - and a large orchestra (with clarinets) was provided for the purpose. 

Mozart succeeded in this objective, and far beyond - because he wrote an utterly delightful piece, always interesting and masterly in structure - with many characteristic touches (especially with grouped-woodwinds contrasted with strings; something that he later did all-the-time). 

For me, this is the first symphony in which Mozart achieved first rank, and equaled the best of his predecessor Haydn. 

This performance is conducted by the Austrian Karl Bohm (1994-1981) who was - for me, when at his usual best - the best conductor of Mozart I have encountered.

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