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"Haffner-Serenade" KV 250

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    • Haffner-Serenade KV 250
  1. Marsch: Maestoso 2'00
  2. Allegro maestoso - Allegro molto 7'23
  3. Andante 7'15
  4. Menuetto 4'20
  5. Rondeau 8'59
  6. Menuetto galante 7'28
  7. Andante 7'03
  8. Menuetto 4'45
  9. Adagio - Allegro assai 5'10

  • Manfred Huss, Conductor
  • Haydn Sinfonietta Wien

  • ADV
  • A 8908-C
This, Mozart's first great orchestra work on a really grand scale, was a real piece d'occasion, as the autograph manuscript's title informs us: "Serenata per lo sposalitio del Sgr. Spath colla Sgra. Elisabetta Haffner del Sgr. Caval: Amadeo Wolfg. Mozart".

The date has been erased because, when Mozart wanted to use the work as a symphony (see below) in Vienna, he wanted to conceal from the local copyists the fact that it was not a new composition but one written in July 1776 (He erased the dates of several such works, the Symphonies K 183, 200, 201, etc.).

When he was needing many orchestra works for his subscription concerts in Vienna, Mozart asked his father to send him several parcels of Salzburg serenades and symphonies in autograph score. He altered the dates so that the comyists would not understand the works' origins, and occasionally added instruments and made other changes.

when this music arrived, he made out of three full scale orchestral Salzburg Serenades (K. 204, 250 and the great "Posthorn" Serenade) three new symphonies, shortening the works by omitting some of the movements. In the case of the "Haffner" Serenade he rewrote the Trio of the menuetto galante completely and added in his own hand a kettledrum part (which Herr Huss has included in this recording and which gives an additional majesty to the movements in which it figures).

It was extraordinary music - full of warmth and passion (one draws special attention to the moving and dignified slow introduction to the last movement), but also with tenderness, wit and sheer beauty. It is touching to think of it first sounding under the starry night of a garden in Salzburg, the huge surrounding hills standing, slightly menacing, in the background. With the candles and torches it must have looked like a painting by Georges de la Tour.

H C Robbins Landon
adapted from the CD-Booklet

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