The Mannheim School

Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 1

Roderick Shaw | Swedish Chamber Orchestra | Patrick Gallois | Naxos 2003

This exercise asks us to listen to the first movement of the concerto whilst following the score.  Although it’s an Allegro movement, thankfully it isn’t so fast that it is too difficult to follow, and the limited number of parts helps too! I found following the score quite enjoyable – it made me more aware of the texture at any point in the music and more likely to notice some fine details. It also meant that it was possible to identify any differences between the performance and the written score; for example in this case the flautist plays several additional ornaments that are not written down.

Several Mannheim School characteristics are evident in this concerto. In the first  and last movements there are sudden dynamic contrasts from to p. The harmony changes are also generally quite slow, sometimes changing up to twice a bar but other times remaining static for several bars in a row.  The texture is mostly of a melody and accompaniment style, but the second movement does contain sections of homophony where all the sections move together.  The flute naturally has most of the solo lines, and there are just a few short phrases where the oboes and horn play by themselves, e.g. bar four of the first movement.


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