26 Oct 2008

Masterpieces born in a Crisis

Posted by jofr

This is the beginning of the score for the fourth movement of Mozart’s symphony No. 39 KV 543 in E-flat Major. The full score of the symphony is available here

Mozart’s late works are his best, if you look at all his concertos and symphonies, you can clearly see that he was getting better with each work. The symphony No. 39 is one of his late and finest works, he wrote it together with his last two final Symphonies No. 40 (KV 500) and No. 41 (KV 551) in only seven weeks in the summer of 1788 during a crisis, three years before his early death in 1791 (at least according to the date when Mozart entered the works in this KV directory, some researchers argue that Mozart needed more time). Even if it took him a few weeks more, it is still impressive to write so many masterpieces in so little time. And maybe the crisis was a major driving force, Mozart’s income dropped while his spendings increased. Mozart probably would have written less masterpieces if his financial problems would have been less severe.

So here it is, the magnificent finale of Mozart’s symphony No. 39 KV 543 in E-flat Major, played by the Wiener Symphoniker directed by Karl Böhm.

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One Response to “Masterpieces born in a Crisis”

  1. […] You need motivation to do it. A threat to lose (in a competition) or a threat to existence are a strong motivation. Shakespeare and Mozart wrote their works to make a living. Tortured souls threatened by extinction and people in a crisis are said to be exceptionally creative. Somestimes the real masterpieces are born in a crisis […]


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