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Symphony in F major, K19a


This F major symphony counts among both the oldest and the newest works in Mozart’s output; oldest because it was one of Mozart’s earliest compositions, written in 1765, and newest because the music was for a long time thought to be lost, and was only rediscovered as recently as 1981. It was known to have existed, because its opening few bars had been notated on the wrapper of another early Mozart manuscript, and it was also assumed from its inclusion in an early nineteenth-century manuscript catalogue that it was a completed work rather than a fragment. The music only came to light, though, when a set of parts (written in the hand of Mozart’s father) was found among some private documents in Munich in February 1981. Although the work cannot be dated exactly, it seems likely that it would have been performed at one of Mozart’s public concerts in London held on 21 February and 11 March 1765.

During Mozart’s fifteen-month sojourn in London, the young composer of a handful of harpsichord pieces developed into a composer fully conversant with the musical style of the day. The effervescent verve of the F major symphony’s outer movements, the facility and joy with which figures are thrown around the orchestra, and the charming middle movement, which already reveals Mozart’s lifelong predilection for interesting and independent viola parts, all support Leopold Mozart’s claim in a letter from London to his landlord in Salzburg: 'What he knew when he left Salzburg is a mere shadow compared with what he knows now. It exceeds all that one can imagine … In a word, my boy knows in this his eighth year what one would expect only from a man of forty.'

from notes by Ian Page © 2018


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


Movement 1: Allegro assai
Track 1 on SIGCD534 CD2 [4'59] Download only
Movement 2: Andante
Track 2 on SIGCD534 CD2 [4'58] Download only
Movement 3: Presto
Track 3 on SIGCD534 CD2 [1'29] Download only

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