Wednesday Music: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante For Violin, Viola, And Orchestra, K. 364

How is it time for Wednesday music already? I guess I shouldn’t complain, because if it’s Wednesday, that means there are only two more days until Friday, my favorite day.

Today’s piece is another by Mozart. It’s his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra in E-Flat major, K. 364 (320d). Here’s a little bit about the piece:

  • The notes for the CD of the recording I have for this piece claim it may be the greatest thing Mozart ever wrote. He wrote it when he was twenty-three, by the way. What were you doing when you were twenty-three? 🙂
  • I would agree with the assertion that it’s one of his finest works. There are two solo parts: one for violin and one for viola. That means they have to work effectively with both the orchestra and each other.
  • Mozart generally didn’t write the cadenzas to his pieces. (Cadenzas are a section at the end of the movement where the soloist is supposed to improvise. Nowadays, no one actually does that—you usually play a cadenza someone has already written.) What’s sad is that Mozart probably played a lot of his violin and piano concertos, but since he didn’t write down the cadenzas, we don’t really know what he had in mind. Apparently he didn’t trust the soloists for this piece, though, since he wrote all the cadenzas. That’s great because we can know what he truly had in mind.

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