By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This piece represents one of the highest achievements of Mozart’s art. It is at once a symphony and a concerto, and showcases both the violin and the viola (the latter being an instrument particularly loved and played by Mozart himself).
The orchestra sets the mood at the outset in a magnificent opening section – majestic in style, with elegant contrasting sections, and featuring one of the most dramatic crescendos in all of the musical literature. The soloists make their subtle entrance entwined with the end of the opening orchestral section. Mozart gives the soloists their own distinctive themes, with orchestral accompaniment interspersed with vigorous symphonic sections; a lengthy double cadenza leads to a rousing ending.
The lovely second movement is set in the contrasting key of C minor, which Mozart uses to convey themes of great poignance and emotion (albeit in his restrained classical style), with its own cadenza for the soloists. The third movement is a spritely rondo, with lively themes taken up by the orchestra and soloists in turn. After a final rising flourish by the soloists, the piece ends joyously