Symphony No. 36 (“Linz”)

This second of the late symphonies was composed in 1783, when he was traveling back home to Vienna from Salzburg and made a quick stop at Linz. In my opinion, this is an underrated piece of music, and actually, it is my favorite of all of Mozart’s symphonies. There is so much in this symphony one could talk about: its gripping introduction and energetic, march-like first movement, the wonderful and graceful slow movement, the aristocratic minuet, and the fun finale full of counterpoint. My favorite movement of this symphony is the Poco Adagio movement. It is in the form of a Siciliano, which was a dance that was in the compound meter (6/8 in this case) and evoked a natural or pastoral quality. However, the movement I will focus on for this time is the finale, where I got to connect two pieces that I know and love. I have played and loved his Piano Sonata No. 13 for years now. Coincidently, this piece was also given the name the “Linz” Sonata, as they were both written on his short stop when returning home to Vienna. Both of these pieces are not only connected by name, but also by the actual music too. There is one specific quotation of his sonata that he makes in the finale of his symphony, which is actually a specific motif used throughout the sonata. The first image below is the sonata, and the second image is the symphony. Look at how similar the notes’ patterns are. I encourage everyone to listen to these two pieces (the First Movement of Sonata No. 13 in B Flat Major and the Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 36 in C Major), and look out for these passages. I have not figured out how to make recordings of certain pieces yet to put them on the blog, but I’ll try to get that figured out for next time.