Blog / Tognetti Introduces Mozart's Last Symphonies

Tognetti Introduces Mozart's Last Symphonies

Posted on 17 Sep 2015 by Leo Messias

“Mozart is widely regarded as the greatest musical creator – the most prodigious, one of the most prolific given his opus and the age in which he died.

He wrote his first grand opera when he was only 14. He wrote German opera, Italian opera, a symphony for Paris, tunes for royalty… he was able to improvise and was a formidable pianist – perhaps the greatest of his time – and one of the greatest violinists of his time.

But when you get to his symphonies, they are uneven. At one point they thought, in a less than complimentary tone, that his symphonies were written by his sister. It took him a while to get to his symphonic stride. Unlike Haydn, whose symphonies were astonishing right from the start.

So, as a whole, Mozart’s symphonies are uneven. But the last three are three of the greatest things ever written.

To this day we are not absolutely sure why Mozart wrote them. They weren’t necessarily a commission and we don’t know who played them.

Symphony 39, 40 and 41… If I had to choose, I’d choose ‘Jupiter’ as my favourite symphony. That fugue in the last movement is the most astonishing orchestral achievement – such refinement, elegance, joy, no clutter, no unnecessary claim…just sheer genius.

They were one of the first things I did with the ACO back in the early 1990s with Frans Brüggen, and we haven’t put these together as a group since then.”

Richard Tognetti
ACO Artistic Director & Leader

#ACO15: Richard Tognetti: Mozart’s Last Symphonies
29 September-7 October

To celebrate 25 years at the helm of the ACO and the 40th anniversary of the Orchestra, Richard Tognetti directs a triumphant performance of Mozart’s last symphonic masterworks – an encore of one of Richard’s favourite concerts from 25 years ago.

MOZART Symphony No.39
MOZART Symphony No.40
MOZART Symphony No.41 ‘Jupiter’