A Symphony For Prague By Mozart

Mozart composed his "Prague" symphony in late in 1786, shortly after his opera "The Marriage of Figaro" had a successful premiere in the city.(Photo: Andras Jancsik)
Mozart composed his "Prague" symphony in late in 1786, shortly after his opera "The Marriage of Figaro" had a successful premiere in the city.(Photo: Andras Jancsik)

Friday evening tune-in to Symphony at 7 on Classical 101 for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D, “The Prague.”

The work had its premiere in Prague on Jan. 19, of 1787 and was Mozart’s gift to the city in appreciation for how much his music was loved there.

Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro had only moderate success in Vienna when it premiered, but when it then went to Prague it was a sensation. Figaro couldn’t be praised highly enough, so Mozart composed his Symphony No. 38 as a  musical gift to the city.

The work is in only three movements – rather than the more usual four that are typical of a classical symphony. But what a substantial opening first movement!

The symphony’s long, slow introduction, in its minor key portions, seems to hint at Don Giovanni, the great opera that some consider Mozart’s finest. Giovanni, commissioned for the Prague opera and premiered there in October of 1787, would also be a triumph.

Hear Mozart’s great Symphony No. 38, a gift to the city of Prague, Friday night on Symphony at 7.

Here’s a sample:

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