Symphonies Nos. 40 & 41
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
It was during the space of a few weeks that Mozart wrote down his last three symphonies, of which the Symphony in G minor, K. 550, is the penultimate. The first of the group, the Symphony in E-flat, in which oboes are replaced by clarinets, was finished on 26th June, the second, in G minor, on 25th July and the third, the so-called Jupiter Symphony, two weeks later. The G minor Symphony, originally written without clarinets, had these instruments added in a later revision. Unlike its companions, it makes no use of trumpets and drums. Presumably the three symphonies were intended to form pan of concerts to be given in Vienna in the coming season. In fact, Mozart was to give no more concerts of his own music, as he had done in earlier years in Vienna. His last Piano Concerto, K. 595, was performed as pan of a programme arranged by the clarinetist Joseph Bahr in March, 1791. The G minor Symphony probably formed pan of a concert conducted by Salieri, the court Kapellmeister, with an orchestra of 180 players in April of the same year.