Symphony No. 1 (Mozart)
The Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, K. 16, was written in 1764 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of eight years. By this time, he was already notable in Europe as a wunderkind performer, but had composed little music.
The piece was written on the Mozart family's Grand Tour of Europe in London when they had to move to Chelsea during the summer of 1764 due to Mozart's father Leopold's illness (throat infection). The house at 180 Ebury Street, now in the borough of Westminster, where this symphony was written, is marked with a plaque. The symphony was first performed on 21 February 1765. The work shows the influence of several composers, including his father and the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach, especially Johann Christian Bach, an important early symphonist working in London whom Mozart had met during his time there.
Movements and instrumentation
The work is in 3 movements:
What's notably interesting is the symphony's second movement, in which the young eight year-old Mozart makes use of the famous four note motif that appears in the finale of his Jupiter symphony, No. 41. The four notes, Do, Re, Fa, Mi, were used considerably by Mozart, and they make an appearance in several of his works, including his Symphony No. 33. This particular theme is stated by the horns in his first symphony.
- Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus; Giglberger, Veronika (preface), Robinson, J. Branford (transl.) (2005). Die Sinfonien I. Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag. pp. IX. ISMN M-006-20466-3
- Sadie, Stanley, Mozart: The Early Years 1756-1781, p 64-65, Oxford University (2006), ISBN 978-0-19-816529-3
- Sinfonie in Es KV 16: Score and critical report (German) in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe
- Symphony No. 1: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project