Mozart – Symphony No. 34 in C major
The symphony features the fanfares and flourishes typical of the “festive symphony” or “trumpet symphony”, which is characteristic of Austrian symphonic writing in C major. This is the first of Mozart’s C-major symphonies to exhibit this character, but the style would be revisited in his subsequent two works in this key, the 36th and 41st symphonies.
The first movement is written in sonata form but also contains many styles and formal aspects of an Italian overture. There is no expositional repeat. The expositional coda contains an overture-like crescendo which is not included in the recapitulation. The development is based entirely on new material. The recapitulation on the exposition’s first theme is abbreviated and interrupted by a brief development of that theme. Finally, the movement’s coda contains nearly all of this first theme creating the appearance of a reverse-recapitulation common in Italian overtures.
The second movement in F major is scored for strings sotto voce with divided violas and a single bassoon doubling the cellos and bass.
Alfred Einstein advanced a theory in the third edition of the Köchel catalogue that the Minuet K. 409 was written at a later date by the composer for this work. However, there is no proof in the sources to support his thesis. Also, K. 409 calls for two flutes in its orchestration which does not match the rest of the symphony.
The finale is in sonata form and features energetic tarantella or saltarello rhythms.
The autograph score is today preserved in two halves: the first half (f.1-18) is in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the second half (f.19-28) is in the Biblioteka Jagiellońska, in Kraków.
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