WSMR Quarterly Issue Reports - Q1 2020

Evening Masterwork: Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Flute and Harp Concerto in C, K. 299 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Evening Masterwork for January 16, 2020 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

In 1778, a 22 year old Mozart arrived in Paris with his mother after a prolonged stay in Mannheim. It was upon his arrival that he received a commission for the Flute and Harp Concerto from the flute-playing Duke of Gaines and his harpist daughter, who had also enlisted in music studies with the young composer. This commission in particular may have been a less-than-inspiring one for Mozart – he had often professed a dislike for both instruments, and the combination is a difficult one to approach in composition. These weren’t the only troubles the composer came across though- the duke failed to pay for the commission altogether. Despite the troubles surrounding the concerto, Mozart, of course, produced a wonderful piece with the creative energy that we expect from the composer: the concerto has become widely performed and a crowd-favorite. It’s a sunny work reminiscent of Mozart’s days in Paris, conjuring images of French silks and royal courts. It’s our Evening Masterwork tonight at 7:The Flute and Harp Concerto by Mozart, here on Classical WSMR.