Composers Datebook®

Two by Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) –Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Sir Neville Marriner, cond.) EMI Classics 65690 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) –Symphony No. 41 in C (Jupiter) (Marlboro Festival Orchestra; Pablo Casals, cond.) CBS/Sony 47294


Composer's Datebook - 20220810

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August 10, 2022

Synopsis

On today's date, Wolfgang Mozart completed two of his most famous works: on August 10th, 1787, the Serenade known as "Eine kleine Nachtmusik," and, on the same day exactly 10 years later, the "Jupiter Symphony" – Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C Major.

Despite the fame of "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" – which translates as "A Little Night Music" – nothing is known for certain about the circumstances of its composition. Since a Serenade is a suite of orchestral movements normally written as background music for some rich patron's patio party, we can assume "Eine kleine" filled such a function some pleasant evening in Vienna. We can only hope the patrons appreciated what they got for their money.

Hardly any more is known about the composition of Mozart's final symphony, the "Jupiter," as no relevant letters or documents survive from this period of his life. The "Jupiter" nickname appears to have originated years later in London. In Germany it was just called "the symphony with the fugal finale."

There's a classic recording of Mozart's symphony favorites featuring the Marlboro Festival Orchestra with Pablo Casals conducting. The Marlboro Festival is held each summer for seven weeks in a cluster of old farm buildings on a hilltop in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Talented young professional musicians from all over the country gather here, principally to study, secondly to perform, for audiences eager to hear both the emerging and established Marlboro musicians.

Music Played in Today's Program

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) –Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Sir Neville Marriner, cond.) EMI Classics 65690

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) –Symphony No. 41 in C (Jupiter) (Marlboro Festival Orchestra; Pablo Casals, cond.) CBS/Sony 47294

On This Day

Births

  • 1813 - American composer and journalist, William Henry Fry, in Philadelphia; Some earlier sources list August 19 as Fry's birth date;

  • 1865 - Russian composer Alexander Glazunov, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: July 29);

  • 1893 - American opera composer Douglas Moore, in Cutchogue (Long Island), N.Y.;

  • 1932 - German-born English composer Alexander Goehr, in Berlin;

  • 1935 - Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, in Tbilisi, former USSR;

Deaths

  • 1806 - Austrian composer Michael Haydn (younger brother of Franz Joseph), in Salzburg, age 68;

  • 1970 - German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann, age 52, commits suicide in Königsdorf, leaving behind his posthumous "Requiem";

  • 1997 - American composer Conlon Nancarrow, age 84, in Mexico City;

Premieres

  • 1949 - Milhaud: Octet for Strings, at Mills College in California, by the combined Budapest and Paganini Quartets;

  • 1965 - Wm. Schuman: "Philharmonic Fanfare," by the New York Philharmonic conducted by William Steinberg, at the orchestra's first outdoor concert in New York's Central Park;

  • 1968 - Grofé: "Virginia City: Requiem for a Ghost Town," in Virginia City, Nevada;

  • 1981 - John Tavener: "Akhmatova: Requiem," at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland;

  • 1992 - James MacMillan: "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel" (Percussion Concerto), at Royal Albert Hall in London, with soloist Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Sarsate conducting;

  • 2001 - Per Norgard: String Quartet No. 9 ("Into the Source"), at the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival, by the Orion String Quartet;

Others

  • 1778 - Mozart finishes his "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'" Serenade (K. 525) in Vienna;

  • 1788 - Mozart finishes his "Jupiter" Symphony in C Major (No. 41, K. 551) in Vienna;

  • 1825 - Mendelssohn, age 16, finishes his opera "Camacho's Wedding";

  • 1895 - The late-summer "Promenade" Concerts"(better known as "The Proms") are launched in London by Sir Henry Wood and Robert Newman.