Skip to main content

The ‘Effective Passage’ in Mozart's ‘Paris’ Symphony

Hide All

1 The primary scholarly edition of Mozart's letters is Mozart: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer Wilhelm A. and Deutsch Otto Erich (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1962–1975), 7 volumes. A newly edited reissue has appeared ed. Konrad Ulrich (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2005).

2 Jenkins Chadwick, ‘Influence and Revolt: Mozart's “Paris” Symphony, k297’, Ad Parnassum 4/7 (2006), 43.

3 Sadie Stanley, Mozart: The Early Years, 1756–1781 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), xx and xxi. For Anderson's translations see The Letters of Mozart and His Family (London: Macmillan, 1938), 3 volumes.

4 The original is in Salzburg, Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Bibliotheca Mozartiana, Mappe 22/312. See Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch , volume 2, 388.

5 Anderson, Letters of Mozart, volume 2, 825–826.

6 Zaslaw Neal, Mozart's Symphonies: Context, Performance Practice, Reception (Oxford: Clarendon, 1989), 311314.

7 Zaslaw, Mozart's Symphonies, 314.

8 Spaethling Robert, Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life (London: Faber, 2001), 159160.

9 Sadie, Mozart: The Early Years, 473.

10 It is noteworthy that this letter was written on the day that Mozart's mother died; he was thus under exceptional emotional pressure and this might have affected his ability to concentrate on factual accuracy in his writing. There remains the possibility that Mozart had finished the letter before his mother actually died, which was in the evening of that day. See Abert Hermann, W. A. Mozart, trans. Spencer Stewart, ed. Eisen Cliff (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 509.

11 Harnoncourt Nikolaus, ‘Gedanken eines Orchestermusikers zu einem Brief von W. A. Mozart’, in Musik als Klangrede (Salzburg: Residenz, 1982), 264268. See also Jenkins, ‘Influence and Revolt’, 43.

12 Sadie, Mozart: The Early Years, 475.

13 See Sadie Stanley, Mozart: Symphonies (London: Ariel Music, 1986), 5556. See also Jenkins, ‘Influence and Revolt’, 44, and Zaslaw, Mozart's Symphonies, 311–314.

14 See Spaethling, Mozart's Letters, 160. See also Jenkins, who refers to this translation in ‘Influence and Revolt’, 42.

15 Adelung Johann Christoph, Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart (Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1796), volume 2, column 2037 (available online at <> (10 July 2011). Adelung's cross-reference to ‘Letze’ is found in column 2035, where he explains that this word has become very unusual in High German and could mean a gift, or heritage; he also explains that in ‘Oberdeutsch’ (which includes the Austrian dialect) it still means a remainder or leftover (‘Ein Überbleibsel, ein Überrest’).

16 Modern High German would be ‘zuletzt, am Ende, schließlich’. See Duden: Wie sagt man in Österreich? Wörterbuch des österreichischen Deutsch, third edition, ed. Ebner Jakob (Mannheim: Dudenverlag, 1998), 199. These terms could be translated as ‘at last, at the end, finally’.

17 Mozart to his father, Munich, 2 October 1777; Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch, volume 2, 28–29.

18 Mozart to his father, Augsburg, 16 October 1777; Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch, volume 2, 66.

19 Mozart to his father, Mannheim, 13 November 1777; Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch, volume 2, 120.

20 Desing Anselm, Auxilia Historia, Oder Behülf Zu denen Historischen und dazu erforderlichen Wissenschafften (Stadt am Hof: Gastl, 1746), part 3, 816817. On Desing see Anselm Desing (1699–1772): Ein benediktinischer Universalgelehrter im Zeitalter der Aufklärung, ed. Knedlik Manfred and Schrott Georg (Kallmünz: Laßleben, 1999).

21 Anderson, Letters of Mozart, volume 2, 825–826.

22 See Jenkins, ‘Influence and Revolt’, 42.

23 Zaslaw, Mozart's Symphonies, 334.

24 See the translations quoted above by Anderson, Spaethling and Sadie.

25 See Wolf Eugene K., ‘On the Origins of the Mannheim Symphonic Style’, in Studies in Musicology in Honour of Otto E. Albrecht, ed. Hill John Walter (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1980), 197239; for the ‘Mannheim crescendo’ see especially 206–216. For the orchestral crescendo in general see Schmid Manfred Hermann, ‘Typen des Orchestercrescendo im 18. Jahrhundert’, in Untersuchungen zu Musikbeziehungen zwischen Mannheim, Böhmen und Mähren im späten 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Heyter-Rauland Christine and Mahling Christoph-Hellmut (Mainz: Schott, 1993), 96132.

26 A good overview of the topic is still Kunze Stefan, Die Sinfonie im 18. Jahrhundert: von der Opernsinfonie zur Konzertsinfonie (Laaber: Laaber, 1993).

27 Wolf Eugene K., ‘Mannheim Style’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, ed. Sadie Stanley and Tyrrell John (London: Macmillan, 2001), volume 15, 776.

28 Harrison Bernard, Haydn: The “Paris” Symphonies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 17.

29 Abert, Mozart, 519.

30 Kunze, Die Sinfonie, 238. A list of crescendo passages in French symphonies is provided in Schmid, ‘Typen des Orchestercrescendo’, 131–132; this list was compiled by Jutta Schmoll-Barthel and refers to the works published in The Symphony 1720–1840: A Comprehensive Collection of Full Scores in Sixty Volumes, ed. Brook Barry S. and Heyman Barbara B. (New York: Garland, 1986).

31 Dearling Robert, The Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Symphonies (East Brunswick: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982), 62.

32 Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch , volume 2, 386.

33 See Hermann Beck, ‘Zur Entstehungsgeschichte von Mozarts D-Dur-Sinfonie, KV. 297. Probleme der Kompositionstechnik und Formentwicklung in Mozarts Instrumentalmusik’, Mozart-Jahrbuch (1955), 98: ‘Ein Blick in das Autograph verrät Mozarts sonst ungewöhnliche Mühe bei der Suche nach neuen Möglichkeiten in Form, Farbe und Ausdruck, freilich auch nach mancherlei Effekten, die den Wünschen seines Pariser Publikums entgegenkommen wollen.’ (A look at the autograph reveals Mozart's unusual effort in the search for new possibilities regarding form, colour and expression; and indeed also for some effects so as to meet with the Paris audience's wishes.) Incidentally, as early as 1909 Alfred Heuß introduced the term ‘Effectdynamik’ to describe one of the two sorts of orchestral crescendo that he identified in the Mannheim style. See Wolf, ‘On the Origins’, 206–207, note 30.

34 Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch , volume 2, 388. See also Zaslaw, Mozart's Symphonies, 310.

35 See also Dearling, The Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 110.

36 As it is, there are actually several examples of French composers who had already chosen to begin a movement piano instead of with the expected orchestral tutti. See, for instance, Henri-Joseph Rigel's Symphony in G major Op. 21 No. 3 and Le Duc's Symphonie Concertante in G major ‘à seize parties’, where this feature occurs in the first and the last movements. Compare also Chevalier de Saint-George's Symphony in C major Op. 6 No. 1, which begins piano (with a vivid semiquaver accompaniment similar to that in Mozart's third movement) and then introduces a long orchestral crescendo leading to the entry of the full orchestra; compare also his Symphonie Concertante in A major. For editions of these works see The Symphony 1720–1840, ed. Brook Barry S. (New York: Garland, 1983–1984), series D, especially volumes 1, 3 and 4.

37 Jenkins, ‘Influence and Revolt’, 44.

38 Leopold Mozart to his son, 20 April 1778; Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch , volume 2, 341: ‘Mit der opera wirst du dich wohl nach dem Geschmack der franzosen richten. wenn man nur Beyfahl findet und gut bezahlt wird; das übrige hohle der Pluder!’

39 Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, ed. Bauer and Deutsch , volume 2, 378. For Mozart's ‘desire to find common ground in the audience for whom he was composing’ see Sisman Elaine, ‘Observations on the First Phase of Mozart's “Haydn” Quartets’, in Words about Mozart: Essays in Honour of Stanley Sadie, ed. Link Dorothea and Nagley Judith (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2005), 36. Sisman refers to Mozart's famous letter of 28 December 1782 in which he explains that in order to win applause one has to write music so simple that a ‘coachman’ (fiacre) could sing it.

40 Hunter G. K., ‘Shakespeare's Tragic Sense as It Strikes Us Today’, in Shakespeare, Pattern of Excelling Nature: Shakespeare Criticism in Honor of America's Bicentennial, ed. Bevington David M. and Halio Jay L. (Cranbury: Associated University Press, 1978), 85.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Eighteenth-Century Music
  • ISSN: 1478-5706
  • EISSN: 1478-5714
  • URL: /core/journals/eighteenth-century-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 113 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.