So at the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Concert last Sunday, I really enjoyed listening to Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D Major K504 and wanted to listen to it again. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the Adagio before, but not the whole piece. The recording I listened to was the European Festival Orchestra directed by Johannes Walter.
Adagio- The piece begins in 4/4 in a major key. The violins have the melody for the most part. Timpanies play a huge role in the piece, however there are no clarinets.
My favorite part of the symphony is about 4 minutes into the piece, the theme which is just a couple measures, is played in major and then repeated in minor.
There is a recapitulation near the end in which all of the melodies are repeated. There were like 6 memorable melodies and parts of them were all repeated.
Andante- Also starts out in a major key, however in 6/8. The main theme in this movement is violins playing a staccato melody. There are many modulations and the movement can’t seem to make up it’s mind to what key it’s in. Around 3 minutes into the piece the oboes have a beautiful melody which the violins take over and the brass adds nice harmony to it. In the recap, the melodies are played then repeated increasing in dynamics. Then, the same melody is repeated in minor. To end the piece, the violins play a phrase, brass repeats the same phrase, and then the violas and percussion repeat it as well.
Presto- This is a very upbeat 4/4 movement. The flutes carry the melody often; however the violins are still the most prominent. After the main theme is exposed, the flutes play a phrase of the theme and the violins repeat the phrase in a minor key. About 4 minutes into the piece the cello or bass plucks the theme which is unique to the movement.
All three movements were in Sonata form- the melodies were introduced in the exposition, they were developed and then parts were repeated in the recapitulation.