Flute Concerto No. 1 in G Major K. 313 (1777)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Program note written by Jacob Farmer

I. Allegro maestoso
II. Adagio non troppo
III. Rondo

Approximate Performance Time:
25 minutes

Advanced Intermediate – appropriate for advanced high school and college undergraduates

James Galway, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields & Sir Neville Marriner. Concerto for Flute & Orchestra No. 1 in G Major, K. 313. Sony Music, 1997. MP3.

Source Article:
Chang, Pi-Ling. “Mozart’s Flute Concerto K. 313.” Order No. 1379325 San Jose State University, 1996. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 in Salzburg. That same year, his father, Leopold, published a book of compositions for violin. The Archbishop of Salzburg afforded him the opportunity to travel to Paris, London, Italy, any many other smaller, learning and composing on the way. The Archbishop’s dissatisfaction with his work led to his dismissal and relocation to Vienna for the last ten years of his life. Mozart died at the young age of 35 in 1791. Mozart composed his first Symphony in 1764 while in London, with forty more to follow. Many of his works like Requiem Mass in D Minor (composed on his deathbed), Symphony No. 40 in G minor, and Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major are household tunes exemplifying his notoriety and fame more than 200 years after his death.

Piece Information:
In 1777, Mozart accepted a commission from a wealthy amateur flutist, Ferdinand De Jean to write three concertos and a few flute quartets. After procrastinating and reaching the deadline with only two of the concertos and two flute quartets completed, Mozart wrote a letter to his father stating, “… you know that I become quite powerless whenever I am obliged to write for an instrument that I cannot bear.” De Jean only paid 96 guldens of the 200 promised because of the incomplete commission. Although the first concerto he wrote, Concerto No. 1 In G Major, was an unpleasant commission for Mozart, it is arguably one of the most significant pieces in the flute repertoire today. The orchestration for this piece is for two flutes, two oboes, two horns, and strings. The flutes are only utilized in the second movement in place of oboes.