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Symphony No 4 in D major, K19


When the Austrian musicologist, writer, composer, publisher and botanist Ludwig Ritter von Köchel made his comprehensive catalogue of Mozart’s complete works in 1862, he listed as Symphonies Nos 2 and 3 two works which we now know were not composed by Mozart at all—‘No 2’ was a symphony in B flat major which had been stored in the archives of the Lambach Monastery in Upper Austria under the name of ‘Mozart’ (this is now supposed to have been the work of Mozart’s father, Leopold), while ‘No 3’ was a symphony by Karl Friedrich Abel with which Mozart had become acquainted while he was in London; he had been so impressed with the piece that he wrote out a fair copy (hence Köchel’s assumption that it was Mozart’s own composition). Rather confusingly, Mozart’s second surviving symphony is therefore still known today as his Symphony No 4.

This and the Symphony in F, K19a, both date from 1765 and, although we have no categorical proof, it seems highly likely that they were composed before Mozart left London in July. K19 closely follows the three-movement prototype which characterises the symphonies by J C Bach and Abel that were current in London at the time (it would be a mistake, incidentally, to ascribe any individual significance to the fact that Mozart’s final symphonies were three times the length of his earliest ones; this is purely a reflection of the general and uniquely rapid evolution of the genre across this quarter of a century). An opening unison fanfare introduces a vivacious allegro which is redolent of the bustling city life that the Mozarts were savouring. This is followed by an elegant andante in G major, scored for strings and horns, and the work is rounded off by a lively presto, crammed full with bustling vigour and high spirits.

from notes by Ian Page © 2018


Mozart in London
Studio Master: SIGCD534Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Movement 1: Allegro
Track 16 on SIGCD534 CD1 [2'18] Download only
Movement 2: Andante
Track 17 on SIGCD534 CD1 [3'55] Download only
Movement 3: Presto
Track 18 on SIGCD534 CD1 [2'49] Download only

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