Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Mozart – Serenade No. 13 in G-Major, K. 525, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Serenade No. 13 in G-Major, K. 525, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” 1. Allegro 2. Romance: Andante 3. Menuetto: Allegretto 4. Vivace In Mozart’s time, serenades were usually meant for outdoor gatherings, mostly parties or functions for which the musical serenade provided the background ambiance.  Often enough these would be held in the evening […]

Mozart – Adagio and Fugue in C–Minor, K. 546

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Adagio and Fugue in C–Minor, K. 546 We often equate the music of Mozart with brightness and charm, but there are many examples of his music that prove his mastery at delving into the depths of human pathos.  The Adagio and Fugue is one of his most amazing examples. [. . […]

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 inVienna) Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 1. Allegro 2. Romanze 3. Rondo (Allegro assai) Mozart penned his first piano concerto in a minor-key, No. 20 in D-minor (1785), and the results were astonishing.  From its opening pulsing, dark […]

Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 in Vienna) Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 1. Molto allegro 2. Andante 3. Menuetto – Allegretto – Trio 4. Allegro assai In the same year, 1788, that he wrote his Contradance, Mozart composed what would be his last three […]

Mozart – Contradance, K. 534, “Das Donnerwetter”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (born Salzburg, 1756; died Vienna, 1791) Contradance, K. 534, “Das Donnerwetter” Originating inEngland, and then all the rage in the French courts by the mid-Eighteenth Century, the contradance was emulated throughout all of Europe, especially in high-society fad-proneVienna.  The dance was typically quick paced with strong duple meters (in 2/4 […]

Mozart – Overture to The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) K. 620

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (born Salzburg, 1756; died Vienna, 1791) Overture to The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) K. 620 The summer of 1791 found Mozart facing probable financial ruin and family heartache.  His wife was sickly and pregnant and had gone to Baden-Badenwith their five-year old son to “take the cures.”  The expenses of this, not […]

Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 5 in A-major, K. 219 “Turkish”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d December 5, 1791 inVienna) Violin Concerto No. 5 in A-major, K. 219 “Turkish” 1. Allegro aperto (fast and “frank” or “open”) 2. Adagio 3. Rondo, Tempo di menuetto Though at first it may sound that Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto is “typical” Mozart (lighthearted and […]

Mozart – Symphony No. 34 in C-Major, K. 338

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 inVienna) Symphony No. 34 in C-Major, K. 338* 1. Allegro vivace 2. Andante di molto 3. Finale – Allegro vivace Symphony No. 34 is a wonderful testament to Mozart’s astounding genius, for in 1780, at the age of 24, he wrote it […]

Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 4 in D-Major, K. 218

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart     (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 inVienna) Violin Concerto No. 4 in D-Major, K. 218 1. Allegro 2. Andante cantabile 3. Rondeau: Andante grazioso – Allegro ma non troppo Many music historians consider that Mozart’s Violin Concertos No.s 3, 4 and 5 mark the beginning of his fully […]

Mozart – Variations on a Theme by Gluck, K. 455

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart    (b. January 27, 1756 in Salzburg; d. December 5, 1791 inVienna) Variations on a Theme by Gluck, K. 455 (10 Variations in G Major on Unser Dummer Pobel) The art form of what is known as the “variation” has its roots long before the time of Bach (1685 – 1750).  Creating musical […]