1782: Mozart: Symphony No. 35 (HAFFNER) in D major

THURSDAY, September 10, 2020 – 9:30 AM

Symphony No. 35 (HAFFNER) in D major

The number one problem with Mozart is that people don’t understand him. They make his music polite, like some kind of horrible Muzak. First of all I’d like to know that the people who invented Muzak, whoever they are, were stuck in Purgatory for about 10,000 years for crimes against music. But in addition I just want to hear this music with no holds barred, raw, challenging and revolutionary, not tame and governed.

More women conductors PLEASE!!!

Nathalie is a treasure. I want to hear a lot more from her.

  • 0:01 – I. Allegro con spirito, D major: The movement is in sonata form with a short development section. Mozart places no repeat signs at the end of the exposition.I actually hate that, because the expo is so incredibly difficult that I want to hear it again. I wish some brave conductor would reverse this decision.
  • 5:57 – II. Andante, G major: The movement is in an abridged sonata form. Instead of a development, a brief chorale-like passage is presented by the woodwinds. In this recording the movement ends on a G7, which is an amusing mistake. I imagine someone got yelled at after this performance, but these things happen in live performances
  • 10:26 – III. Menuetto, D major: The is controversy about the tempo. Does a minuet have to be the right speed to dance? This is way too fast, but Beethoven did the same thing in his first symphony, and it is likely that the tempos of these minuet movements were getting faster
  • 13:03 – IV. Presto, D major:  This is a very Beethoven-ish sound. When providing his father, Leopold, with performance instructions for the “Presto”, his advice was that this movement should be played “as fast as possible”. Mozart was not a polite person, or a temperate one. Like all great artists he lived life to the extreme, and those extremes are in his music.

And now Reiner, with smoke coming out of the computer in the last movement.

This is an older recording, and the sound is 2nd rate by today’s standards, but it is the best ever heard for power, speed, adrenaline electricity. This is so far away from safe and polite that it’s hilarious. I’d bet Mozart would cheer for this last movement.


2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in D and G, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings.

A serenade…

The Haffner Symphony did not start as a symphony. In 1776, a young member of the  Haffner family commissioned a serenade for the wedding, the Haffner Serenade. It was so successful that when the younger Sigmund Haffner was made a noble, Mozart was asked  to write the music for the occasion.

December 1782, serenade to symphony…

Mozart wrote a new Haffner serenade at a concert, but he made a number of alterations to the score in order to convert the new Haffner serenade into the Haffner symphony.


He removed the repeat signs from the 1st movement’s exposition then added. Mozart also gave the Haffner Symphony a fuller sound by two flutes and two clarinets.

The Haffner Symphony was  very successful…

Mozart conducted the new symphony in Vienna on March 23. The Emperor stayed for the entire concert, something that was apparently rather unusual. Mozart’s profit that night was more than half his earnings for the entire year.





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