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Wolgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony in C major ("Jupiter")

( Originally Published 1935 )



I. Allegro vivace

II. Andante cantabile

III. Menuetto: Allegretto

IV. Finale: Molto allegro

The "Jupiter" symphony, said by some to derive its nickname from the Jovian energy of its opening thunder-rolls, is the exultant antithesis of the passion and tragedy of the incomparable G minor. "There are things in the world," said Schumann, "about which' nothing can be said, as Mozart's C major symphony with the fugue, much of Shakespeare, and pages of Beethoven." Mark the qualifications of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and the unconditional adoration of Mozart. Each movement of the "Jupiter" symphony is a powerful and surpassing creation.

The capstone of this ,towering symphony is of course the fugue-finale, wherein the polyphonic workmanship of the old fugue is used, with other material, for the perfect consummation of the composer's thought, and the eternal glory of art. The movement is based on an ecclesiastical motive which Mozart employed several times, and which has been used by many composers, from Bach to Arthur Sullivan. This theme, on Mozart's wings, promptly leaves the earth .and soars on a dizzying flight to the skies. The finale is made wholly off pure spirit. The complexities of the development only `enrich and make the more sunny and glorious the music. There is in-deed no match for this movement in the literature of the symphony. There are other composition—a few equal to it in interest, but there are no others like it, even in Mozart. That is his symphonic apotheosis the fugue-finale of the "Jupiter" symphony.

Then, when a Mozart who was merely an immortal master had provided an aristocratic company of his day with such food of the gods for their delectation, he could go out and eat with the rest of the servants. If anyone thinks that Mozart enjoyed these social experiences, he has only to read letters of the miraculous artist whom the Archbishop of Salzburg had kicked from his palace, whom an emperor under-paid .and insulted, who died young, whose body was cast into an unknown grave, and to whom the world has ever since paid homage. "The composer of `Don Giovanni' and the `Jupiter' symphony," as Mr. Philip Hale has remarked, "was unfortunate En his emperors." Mozart's miserable lot would have been intolerable to him if he had not possessed the consolation of his genius. But how he suffered! The more for the fact that his senses were keen, the love of life strong within him, and his spirit greater than his frame. He paid that much to create heavenly music.



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