Mozart’s last three symphonies were written in a few weeks in summer 1788, unusually without performances already arranged. They make a satisfying triptych, with the relatively serene no. 39 contrasting with the more agitated and unsettled no. 40. The final symphony sums up Mozart’s achievement in the form, with a spacious opening movement, an expressive and chromatic slow movement, and one of his most famous minuets. The finale combines fugue and sonata form in a five-part tour de force.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is Anvil Arts Orchestra in Association