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

by Max Derrickson

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 mature period of composing.   All of his five violin concertos were written in a single year, 1775, and were created for himself as the soloist, a fact about Mozart often overlooked – he was extremely proficient on the violin.  By 1775 he had already served five years as a concertmaster in the Salzburg Court Orchestra, for which he composed, co-conducted, played keyboard for every necessity, and performed as soloist.  Considering all of this, it’s astonishing that he was still a teenager of 19.

Of his five concerti, it’s No. 4 that most listeners and violinists are drawn to first.  Intertwined in its wonderful melodies, the perfect balances of orchestration and Classical structure, is a splendid youthfulness, a spirit of happiness and contentment.  And of the five, this and the Fifth are the most technically demanding.  Mozart nicknamed the Fourth his “Strassburg Concerto” because in the Finale one short episode is based on a bagpipe strain he heard in that country hamlet.

The first movement Allegro is bright and charming, filled with melodic and technical frills, smartly paced and airy-light.
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The second movement is an absolute treasure, a simple structure that is rich in delightfully romantic singing.  The Finale-Rondo is a deliciously light-hearted dance movement,
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