#vlogtober 26th, Wildkat’s Most Loved Symphonies

Monday 26th October 2015

Today, the WildKat London office share our favourite symphonies.

Victoria: Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, composed 1788.

“It was one of the first symphonies I heard, it was also one of the first pieces of classical music to send a shiver down my spine!”

It is sometimes referred to as the “Great G minor symphony”, to distinguish it from the “Little G minor symphony”, No. 25. The two are the only minor key symphonies Mozart wrote. 

Fleur: Mahler’s  Symphony No. 4,  composed in 1899 and 1900.

“It was one of the first symphonies I performed at school so it has a special place in my heart – the beginning of the 3rd movement is epic and almost un-Mahler-like but still so clever.”

Symphony No. 4 is characterised as one of Mahler’s most accessible symphonies, being the shortest and most lightly scored, with less heavy brass and a smaller string section. The final movement is based on Mahler’s orchestral setting of the song ‘Das Himmlische Leben’, composed in 1892.

Ellie also chooses a Mahler Symphony, Symphony No. composed in 1901 and 1902.

Mahler completed this Symphony during one of the happiest periods of his life. During the winter prior to beginning the Fifth Symphony, Mahler had met Alma Schindler to whom he proposed in 1901. It is said that in the tender, lyrical Adagietto of the fourth movement, Mahler expresses his love for Alma.

Olivia: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. composed in 1808.

“The context of the music shines through very much and you can really feel Beethoven’s emotions. It’s more programme music – telling a story – and it’s perfect for new audiences.”

Last year, Orpheus Sinfonia presented Revolution: The Beethoven Effect which explored Beethoven’s symphonies and how they transformed our view of what a symphony is. Music from his symphonies was performed alongside images, and  readings of excerpts from his letters. The orchestra really delved into the details to make a fascinating event!

 Sarah: Janáček’s Sinfonietta, composed 1926.

Janáček dedicated the Sinfonietta to the “Czechoslovak Armed Forces”. He wanted it to express “contemporary free man, his spiritual beauty and joy, his strength, courage and determination to fight for victory.” The music depicts scenes from Janáček’s home city of Brno following the announcement of Czech independence. 

Amelia: Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, composed 1894-95.

This music tells the adventures of Till Eulenspiegel, a German peasant folk hero. In modern German, the name means “owl glass,” or “owl mir­ror,” however in the middle ages when the tales were collected, the name had a more sinister meaning as the owl was sometimes regarded as the devil’s bird. Eulenspiegel was a trickster and the music cleverly captures his mischief and roguishness.