dark-attentiondark-datedark-timedark-contactdark-infodark-play dark-pricedark-venueicon-alert icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-blockquote icon-cal icon-clock icon-contact UI / Full-Part-Volunteer CopyCreated with Sketch. EPS IconCreated with Sketch. icon-facebook--dark_circle icon-facebook--dark_square icon-facebook--outline_circle icon-facebook--outline_square icon-facebookCreated with Sketch. icon-htm icon-info icon-instagram--dark_circle icon-instagram--dark_square icon-instagram--outline_circle icon-instagram--outline_square icon-instagram icon-linkedin--dark_circle icon-linkedin--dark_squareicon-linkedin--outline_circleicon-linkedin--outline_squareicon-linkedin icon-logo2 icon-mp3 icon-pinterest--dark_circle icon-pinterest--dark_square icon-pinterest--outline_circle icon-pinterest--outline_square icon-pinterestCreated with Sketch. icon-play icon-price icon-spotify--dark_circle icon-spotify--dark_square icon-spotify--outline_circle icon-spotify--outline_square icon-spotify icon-spreadsheet icon-threads--dark_circle icon-threads--dark_square icon-threads--outline_circle icon-threads--outline_square icon-threads icon-tiktok--dark_circle icon-tiktok--dark_square icon-tiktok--outline_circle icon-tiktok--outline_square icon-tiktok icon-twitter--dark_circle icon-twitter--dark_square icon-twitter--outline_circle icon-twitter--outline_square icon-twitterCreated with Sketch. icon-x--dark_circle icon-x--dark_square icon-x--outline_circle icon-x--outline_square icon-x icon-youtube--dark_circle icon-youtube--dark_square icon-youtube--outline_circle icon-youtube--outline_square icon-youtubeCreated with Sketch. FolderCreated with Sketch. icon-zoom light-attentionlight-cal light-clocklight-contactlight-infolight-play light-pricelight-venue

Program Note: Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3

(Instrumentation: solo violin, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 horns, strings)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756; died in Vienna, Austria in 1791)

Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, “Strassburg,” K. 216

  1. Allegro
  2. Adagio
  3. Rondeau (Rondo) – Allegro

Besides his indisputable legacy as one of Western music’s great composers, Mozart was also a virtuoso violinist in his youth.  Not yet 20-years old, Mozart wrote his only five violin concertos while he still lived in Salzburg and performed as Konzertmeister (Music director) for the Archbishop Colloredo’s court orchestra.  The Third of these concertos was completed in September of 1775 and it’s likely that Mozart himself premiered it as both the soloist and conductor.  Among his five violin concertos, this Third is arguably his most intimate and adventurous, and likewise, one of his most popular.

The first movement is summery and bright.  The main theme skips with a gentle cheerfulness.  Though the violin soloist often has the limelight, Mozart also ingeniously treats its phrases in a chamber-music-like fashion.  Especially delightful is this treatment at about two minutes, when the soloist splits its theme with the upper strings, then becomes the accompaniment for the oboes.  The ending bars are whimsically brief.

The celebrated second movement is a poignantly beautiful aria.  Mozart changes out the oboes from the first movement for two flutes, softening the orchestra’s timbre, as well as directing the upper strings to place mutes on their strings to darken their luster.  The effect makes the solo violin sound as though it’s singing apart, in its own radiant reverie.

The final movement, Rondeau, begins with a light-hearted theme in a triple meter – a theme that will return several times throughout the movement.  The movement’s opening joie de vivre soon meets with two boldly unconventional sections in duple meter.  This happens at about three minutes, starting with a slower section introducing a darkly gorgeous folksong-like melody played by the soloist over pizzicato (plucked) orchestral strings.  This is immediately followed by a slightly faster section with a new folkdance tune (likely originating from Strasbourg, France) and which prompted Mozart to refer to the entire work as his “Strassburg Concerto.”  The first theme returns cheerfully, and the Concerto gambols to a delightfully nonchalant ending.

Program note by © Max Derrickson