Mozart – Symphony No. 35 in D, K. 385, “Haffner”
Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782 and is also called the Haffner Symphony. It was commissioned by the Haffners, a prominent Salzburg family, for the occasion of Sigmund Haffner’s ennoblement. The Haffner Symphony should not be confused with the eight-movement Haffner Serenade, another piece Mozart wrote on commission from the same family in 1776. The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in D and G, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings. Mozart’s choice of key for the Haffner Symphony is an aspect that catches one’s attention. According to Cuyler, “the key of D major, which was so felicitous for the winds, served Mozart more often than any other key, even C, for his symphonies,” including the Paris (No. 31) and Prague (No. 38) symphonies. The key is also indicative of the work’s serenade origins as all of Mozart’s orchestral serenades are scored in D major. Hence, it is not surprising that the Haffner Symphony was written in the key of D major. The symphony is in four movements:
1. Allegro con spirito, 4/4
2. Andante, 2/4
3. Menuetto, 3/4
4. Presto, 2/2.
The Haffner Symphony usually runs somewhere around 20 minutes in length. A recording by George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra (Sony SBK 46333) runs 19.11; one by Iona Brown with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Haenssler CD 94.003) is 21.09; and one by Sir Neville Marriner also with the same ensemble (Philips 420 486-2) runs 21.34.
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