WSMR Quarterly Issue Reports - Q1 2020

Evening Masterwork: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for violin & viola by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Evening Masterwork for December 9, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

The sinfonia concertante is an interesting genre that was popular mostly at the end of the 18th Century, heading into the 19th Century. It’s a type of work that features multiple soloists – usually improbably or unlikely combinations – but it differs from a double or triple concerto in that the solo group doesn’t interact too much with the orchestra. Mozart attempted to compose a sinfonia concertante a few times in the late 1770s, but finally settled on completing one: the Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat for Violin & Viola. The work towers above the Mozart’s other pieces from that time period and is generally, and understandably, considered an early masterpiece by the 23-year old composer.