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A View on The Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as Explained by Woody Allen

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Woody Allen describes Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as a composition that proved the existence of God. There is a reason that Allen, several other scholars of the classical period, and the majority of music lovers alike consider Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony to be one of extremes. The innovative and artistic mastery which make up the framework of the symphony creates an experience where a complexity of emotions could take place in this piece. The amount of several differing expressive and compositional contrasts which take place in this single symphonic work have astounded audiences for hundreds of years and is considered to be a work fifty years ahead of its time.

The most prolific reason as to why this symphony is so highly regarded in the classical repertoire would have to the be what Mozart accomplishes in the finale of this work. At the end of the movement Mozart is able to successfully take the style of late 18th century instrumental practice, with exceptionally involved counterpoint creating a style of music transcending both of the styles into one of pure and exhilarating originality. This transcendence which Mozart achieved is due in part to a five-part fugato representing five different themes which occur throughout the finale of the work. Mozart takes the five themes and interlays each theme in unity among one another across the whole ensemble. This contrapuntal mastery which takes place has been deemed as one of the greatest finales of music preceding the scientific revolution. However, the significance of the symphony as a whole in terms of the historical context make the reputation of the symphony quite reputable among scholar’s due to the commission of and inspiration of the “Jupiter” Symphony.

No one is exactly sure as to the reason why Mozart wrote this symphony and whether he ever listened to a performance of this symphony as well. Mozart wrote the Symphony No. 41 along with his 39th and 40th symphonies during a period of six weeks in the summer of 1788. During this time Mozart was in serious debt and had to move to the suburb of Alsergrund in order to avoid paying high rental expenses. Some scholars believe that this symphony was composed only for the purpose of making Mozart money so that he could no longer struggle in order to pay his rent. Others believe that Mozart knew that the “Jupiter” symphony would be his last as he put everything in terms of style, contrast, and emotion into this final symphony.

The first movement begins brilliantly in the key of C major. This movement happens to be in sonata allegro form which was traditional of the time. The second movement of this piece is marked Andante cantabile and is known to create dissonance and drama signifying some internal struggle. The third movement of the piece is a minuet that contains an allegretto and trio. This movement features an Austrian folk-dance form and contains interesting instances of imitative texture. Although these movements may not be as highly regarded as the fourth movement, the first three movements also contain innovative and symphonic mastery which only someone like Mozart could succeed in doing. Only Mozart could compose a symphony in less than six weeks and have the symphony contain a legacy spanning generations of musicians. The significance of final symphony of the Austrian composer will continue to baffle listeners young and old as no other composer could imitate the craft of composition and symphonic art to which Mozart dedicated much of his life to.

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A View on the Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as Explained by Woody Allen. (2018, November 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
“A View on the Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as Explained by Woody Allen.” GradesFixer, 15 Nov. 2018,
A View on the Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as Explained by Woody Allen. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
A View on the Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 as Explained by Woody Allen [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 15 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from:
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