Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony Analysis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the greatest music composers of the classical era, although he was not honored during his life. Furthermore, his unique abilities both as a performer and as a composer helped him to win the hearts of the most eminent royal families of Europe in the 18th century. The art of the composer absorbed a great number of different music genres and varied from light operas to magnificent symphonies.

Nevertheless, one of the most significant works of the composer is his ‘Jupiter’ Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, which was finished on 10 August 1788 and is often recognized as one of the most impressive compositions of Mozart. The most important fact about this symphony is that it determined the composer’s self-confidence after the hard emotional problems he faced while creating the 40th symphony. Moreover, the nickname of the symphony was coined not by the composer, but by an impresario Johann Peter Saloman. It was first used in print in 1821 in a concert program in London.

Moreover, Mozarts Symphony No. 41 is a unique example of a Classical-era work of arts, which absorbs a great number of impacts and various experiences, expanding the genre of symphony. First, Mozart moved out of the traditional framework of definition of a symphony as a genre, significantly transforming this term. For example, even a simple teacher not connected with music would be able to notice that the composer provides something unique and unusual in this symphony, because of the nontraditional style. Second, it is easy to observe that Mozart employed compositional methods found in the sinfonias from old Viennese operas within this symphony. For instance, the in Viennese classical tradition, sinfonias were opened by fanfares of trumpets, which performed the theme used in the composition that followed as a refrain. In a similar fashion, the 1st part of the symphony of Mozart is shaped by a trumpet refrain. Moreover, the instruments of the orchestra are responsible for specific environments within the whole symphony. For example, the Roman templates image is reflected through the use of a plethora of various string instruments, both woodwind and brass. Moreover, the style of Bach echoes the use of piano contrasts, while forte is used in the first movement of the symphony and opens with a tutti theme replied by woodwinds. Finally, the composer uses a combination of forms of sonata and fugato in the last movement of the Jupiter symphony, applying the genre of fugue in a new way. As a result, the composer combines the experiences of many schools, traditions, methods, and styles of the previous decades and even centuries in his work, creating unique characters, which easily impress the listeners.

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The article from The Phi Delta Kappan states that even a person, who is not connected closely to music could see that Mozart did not follow any of the established frameworks of his time, which brought him success. Furthermore, all the evidence provided by the author of the article is based on different suggestions and actions of Mozart if he was able to act according to the projected circumstances. For example, she asks the reader what Mozart could create if he was asked to follow a framework or if he had a teacher, who taught him the correct way to compose . After a while, the author answers herself by saying that it would not be possible to create such a unique example of art work if Mozart was thoroughly and accurately thinking about his methods and their relevance or irrelevance. Obviously, there are no examples of an artwork or a scientific investigation, which have become prominent a kept their originality by using an established common sample. Additionally, the author emphasis the seven integral steps, which were combined in order to create the modern terms of thinking and which Mozart avoided when creating his symphony. They are applying, evaluating, synthesizing, generating, analyzing, organizing, focusing, and gathering information, ideas, and facts. There are no doubts that Mozart could not create his work if he followed the traditions of standard scope of a symphony, because the composer was considered to be a genius who did not think much and created instead. Moreover, thinking according to some previously established rules can easily destroy everything that makes an innovative genius viable. The article provides a good example of a comparison of two composers of the 18th century – Mozart, who was a genius, and Salieris, who was defined as pedestrian and competent without being a genius. Furthermore, the works of Antonio Salieri are not well-known and performed nowadays, while it is a common fact that works of Mozart are considered in all the regions of world to be the examples of musical mastery. Moreover, the methods of autonomy of composition are compared to the methods of evaluating pupils in schools, and the ways of developing and creating various tests, which should not be put into any framework. It is obvious that the development of creative thinking and thorough analysis among students in schools and universities can be compared to the evolution of the ability of individual expression of a composer. As a result, Mozart contributed to the uniqueness of his Jupiter symphony, because he was able to think out of box and express his internal genius in his work. This can be understood by anyone, even teachers.

Second, it can be observed that a close connection exists between the methods of composition of Mozart, which he applied to the symphony, and the traditions of Viennese opera sinfonia structure. For example, the symphony’s first movement is formed with the help of a trumpet theme, which contributes to the creation of a structure of refrain of the movement. Moreover, the classical Viennese symphonies used to open with fanfares of trumpets, which were then used in the composition. The clear interpretation of the traditions of Viennese methods of symphonies in the Classic-era manner can be seen in the first movement of the 41st symphony. Furthermore, the composer places the fanfares of trumpets after the opening flourish as a refrain of the closing, primary, and transition functions, which is not usual for the compositions of the 18th century. This method of use of trumpet fanfares is one of the most significant structural elements of the whole movement, which can be heard by the audience throughout the 33 minutes of performance. The structure of refrain is one of the most common methods which were used for creation of the old trumpet sinfonias . A good example of such a usage is the sinfonia of Attilio Atiosti for his oratorio Le profezie dElieso written in 1705, where the trumpet refrain can be heard . This sinfonia used refrains in order to connect different movements of the oratorio together, repeating the refrain and improvising upon it with court trumpets. Nevertheless, fanfares were used by composers as ritornellos for first movements, while the refrain, which can be heard in the symphony of Mozart immediately after the opening, is a rare phenomenon for the overtures and symphonies of the 18th century compositions school. On the other hand, even the Viennese musical tradition of those times did not use the refrain as a structure unit, which highlights the uniqueness of Mozart’s work that easily left the broad guidelines established by the traditions of the 18th century. Finally, the structure of the first movement of Mozarts Jupiter symphony is established according to the refrain model of the old sinfonias written by the representatives of the Viennese school. However, during the times in which the composer lived, the use of trumpet refrains was not a common phenomenon, even for the Viennese school of composition.

Moreover, the instrumentation was one of the most important parts of the whole symphony, because it created the atmosphere of the symphony. Moreover, representatives of different instrumental groups of the orchestra, including oboes, trumpets, strings, bassoons, and the flute, were considered to be integral participants of the symphony. Mozart applied this factor to his composition in order to recreate a picture of an ancient temple. Additionally, the main goal of the orchestra in the symphony is to perform a wide range of different themes, which contribute to the creation of different colors of composition through sound. Different characters in all the symphonies are usually described with the help of the brightness of sounds, which could be represented by various instruments. As stated above, the symphony did not receive its nickname until 1819, when it was created by a German impresario. The author was inspired to pick this name because of the impression, which the music left after he had heard the symphony. It became obvious to him that the symphony created an image of Jupiter, a Roman god, who had supernatural powers and was very impressive. There is a plethora of examples that show how the composer used the colors of instrument sounds by applying them successfully for description of the current moment. For instance, the theme of Jupiter is created using different insisting rhythms of lower strings and the brass group, which can be heard in the third part of the symphony. Furthermore, the same movement is overfilled with echoes between oboe-violins phrases and replies of horns, bassoons, and flutes. Moreover, the theme of trumpet fanfares and drums creates an atmosphere of calm summer gardens. The colors of music and moods of the characters were not developed in the 18th century. It was more common in the music of impressionism of the 20th century. As a result, this fact supports the evidence that the traditional comprehension of the genre of symphony was expanded by the composer.

Additionally, the composer refers to Bach’s technique of using the piano and forte structure of echoes of tutti theme and answers of woodwinds. Although the works of Mozart are very spacious and full of expressions, he went further and combined these methods with the traditional style of Bach. For example, the opening of the symphony is based on contrasts of forte and piano with tutti theme and answer of the strings group, which makes the symphony very alike the compositions of Bach. This technique can be compared with an imagined scene from some opera, where there are two voices and one of them (the answer) is very gentle, while the other is full of authority (tuttis theme). Furthermore, when the tutti, which sounds at the beginning of the symphony, repeats the second time, the echoes are heard in the woodwinds group, which provide a counter theme. Moreover, the whole opening of the symphony is based on the repetition of the theme played in forte by the tutti in some of the orchestral units and already performed in piano. Additionally, the thoughts of the composer provide the whole piece with permanent development and a motivic nature. The development of the answering theme is seen in the following tutti, which is overfilled with increasing urgency of the theme performed by violins at the top of the orchestra. Nevertheless, the middle voices of the developing theme are performed by bassoons, cellos, and second violins, which are combined successfully by the composer with double-bases, which adds the atmosphere of tension to the music. Therefore, Mozart develops his own unique structure of melody, basing all of his beginnings on the style of Bach. Finally, Bach did not write symphonies, so there were not many applications of his forte-piano technique. It was used by Mozart first and expanded the traditional perception of the genre of symphony.

Finally, the most unusual feature of the symphony is the use of the fugato technique in combination with the sonata form in various parts of the composition. For instance, Mozart did not hesitate to experiment with everything that he learned before, such as combining the fugato and sonata forms in his compositions, which was noted by Warren Kirkendalle. He uses this technique in the fourth movement of the symphony, which was influenced by Haydn brothers, and was proud of the way in which he applied his creativity. Although the composer used the ideas of others, he reached his goal through the mixing of sonata and fugato in the last movement of the symphony. It begins as a sonata and ends with a fugato final. Moreover, the most impressive part of the final movement symphony is its ending, in which all the instruments are combining and following each other. Finally, Mozart used the technique of fugato in the final movement of Jupiter symphony. It had already been applied before him, but was successfully combined with the sonata form. This unusual methods and combination contributed to the expansion of the traditional point of view regarding the structure of the last movement of the symphony.

In conclusion, Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 is a unique example of a masterpiece, which expanded the traditional understanding of symphony as a genre. Furthermore, there is no doubt that Mozart avoided all the established frameworks of composing of his times, which provided him with opportunities to create outstanding work. Furthermore, his symphony significantly differs from others because of the freedom applied to the various movements of the piece and their wise combination. Additionally, the genius successfully mixed the sonata and fugato forms in the last movement of the symphony and applied Bach’s echoes technique in the opening of the first movement. The same opening is written in accordance with the traditional methods of Viennese refrain of the theme of trumpet fanfares. Moreover, various instruments of the orchestra create a myriad of fabulous and colorful characters of ancient Roman gods and help to reflect the atmosphere of an ancient temple through rich colors of sound. Mozarts Jupiter symphony is a very uncommon phenomenon even in modern culture, which makes it a unique and remarkable word. Even a teacher can notice that Mozart was very open-minded and did not think within external limitations, which helped him create a true work of art. As a result, Mozart significantly broadened the traditional rule of creation of symphonies expanding the genre itself.


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