Mozart Symphony no. 38 in D major 'Prague', K. 504

Symphony no. 38 in D major, K. 504 was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in late 1786 and premiered the following year. Because it was first performed in Prague, it is popularly known as the Prague Symphony. Although Mozart's popularity in Vienna waned, he had a devoted following in Prague. It is not known if Mozart composed this symphony with the Prague public in mind, and this has proven to be a subject of debate amongst scholars. The lavish use of wind instruments may suggest so, as the wind players of Bohemia were famed throughout Europe, and the Prague press had praised Figaro partially because of its notorious deployment of wind instruments. It is also possible that the extensive use of winds in the Prague Symphony was simply the result of experiments with orchestration that Mozart had been cultivating in the orchestral accompaniments for his piano concertos for the previous two years and the new experience he had of writing for winds would have shown up in his symphonies regardless. No matter, the use of wind instruments in the Prague Symphony represents a major advance in Mozart's symphonic technique that was imitated in his last symphonies, and also by Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert. The Prague symphony is in three movements in sonata form(something quite unusual for that time), and it calls for two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings. It is noteworthy that this work would have been known as no. 37 if the so-called Symphony No. 37, K. 444, which is actually a work of Michael Haydn except for the slow introduction added by Mozart, had not been recognized as an authentic work of Mozart by the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel, whose original complete edition of the Mozart symphonies is the origin of the traditional numbering system.



Symphony No. 38 in D major 'Prague', K. 504 - I. Adagio-Allegro
Symphony No. 38 in D major 'Prague', K. 504 - II. Andante
Symphony No. 38 in D major 'Prague', K. 504 - III. Finale (Presto)



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