Out of all the gods in Roman mythology, Jupiter was chief among them: characterized by a good-humored nature and exuberance, he was a grand character. The same could be said for Mozart’s final symphony, which was given the nickname “Jupiter.” In this final of his 41 symphonies, it is appropriately the largest and most complex by Mozart: there are hints of Romanticism throughout, and even some Beethoven-esque moments.
This is a work completed in the summer of 1788, just a few years prior to the composer’s death, and in this symphony he has managed to create a sterling example of Classical era symphonic writing. Robert Schumann, at least, felt strongly about the work, placing it among nearly-mythological artists like Shakespeare. In 1835 he 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, much of Shakespeare, and some of Beethoven.”
On this week’s Arizona Encore, we will hear a performance of this final symphony from the great Classical era composer with the ASU Chamber Orchestra, on an all-Mozart program. We’ll explore three works in total ranging in depth and breadth: along with the “Jupiter” Symphony, we’ll hear the Arod Quartet perform a work by the composer that has a moment in it that so dissonant for its time that his publisher just assumed Mozart had made some sort of copying error; and we’ll hear a short moment from on of the composer’s keyboard sonatas performed by pianist Ying Li from the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series.
Featured in this episode:
I. Allegro moderato
Mozart - Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281 - Ying Li, piano
Mozart - Symphony No. 41, K. 551, "Jupiter" - ASU Chamber Orchestra; Jeffery Meyer, conductor
I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante cantabile
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Molto Allegro