Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Mozart – Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551, “Jupiter”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 inVienna) Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551, “Jupiter” 1. Allegro vivace 2. Andante cantabile 3. Menuetto: Allegretto 4. Molto allegro In the summer of 1788, Mozart found himself in financial despair.  With the mystifying disaster that was Vienna’s disdain […]

Mozart – Symphony No. 38 in D major, K.504 “Prague”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria; d December 5, 1791 inVienna) Symphony No. 38 in D major, K.504 “Prague” 1. Adagio – Allegro 2. Andante 3. Finale (Presto) Prague’s infatuation with Mozart began in 1786 with his opera Le Nozze di Figaro, which met with astounding success, and the grateful people ofPraguehave not […]

Mozart – Piano and Wind Quintet in E-flat, K. 452

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b Salzburg, January 27, 1756; d Vienna, December 5, 1791). Piano and Wind Quintet in E-flat, K. 452 Largo- Allegro moderato Larghetto Allegretto This wonderfully clever and charming chamber work was written by Mozart in 1784, a year in which he wrote six piano concertos.  The following year, he wrote three more.  It is […]

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-Major, K. 488

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (Born January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; died December 5, 1791 in Vienna) Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-Major, K. 488 This concerto for piano and orchestra was written over a period of several months during 1785-6 while Mozart also worked on the piano concertos in E-flat (K. 482), in C-minor (K. 491) […]

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 12 in A-major, K. 414

(Johann Chrysostom) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart    (b Salzburg, January 27, 1756; d Vienna, December 5, 1791) Piano Concerto No. 12 in A-major, K. 414 Allegro Andante Allegretto The fact that Wolfgang Mozart, one of Music’s most beloved figures, needed to convince the city of Vienna that he should be regarded both as a virtuoso pianist and a composer […]

Mozart – Overture to Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart    (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 in Vienna) Overture to Don Giovanni Don Giovanni is truly one of the great operas ever written, and its Overture forever a delight.  The music and libretto were instantly beloved at their premiere in Prague in October of 1787.  But then, […]

Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”) in A Major, Op 90

Felix Mendelssohn    (b February 3, 1809 in Hamburg, Germany; d November 4, 1847  in Leipzig, Germany) Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”) in A Major, Op 90 Allegro vivace Andante con moto Con moto moderato Saltarello – Presto   When Mendelssohn was just a wee and precocious lad of 12 years old, he met the great […]

Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 “Scottish”

Felix Mendelssohn     (born Hamburg,Germany, 1809; died Leipzig,Germany, 1847) Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 “Scottish” Andante con moto – Allegro un poco agitato Vivace non troppo Adagio Allegro vivacissimo – Allegro maestoso assai   When Felix Mendelssohn reached the age of 20, his father urged him to undertake one last piece […]

Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 2, in B-flat Major, “Lobgesang” Op. 52

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Symphony No. 2, in B-flat Major, “Lobgesang” Op. 52   Of the many excellent accomplishments of the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), perhaps the most cherished is his reintroduction of Johann Sebastian Bach into the concert hall. When the brilliant young Mendelssohn was only 20 years old, the larger masterpieces of Bach […]

Mendelssohn – The Fair Melusine Overture (Die Schöne Melusine), Op. 32 – Allegro con moto

Felix Mendelssohn     (b Hamburg, February 3, 1809; d Leipzig, November 4, 1847)   The Fair Melusine Overture (Die Schöne Melusine), Op. 32 – Allegro con moto   The legend of the half-mermaid, Melusine, appears to date back over nearly twelve centuries.  The arrestingly beautiful Melusine, born of a mortal father and water sprite mother, is […]