The Halle Orchestra
Leader, Alfred Barker
Conducted by Sir THOMAS BEECHAM , Bart. from the Free Trade Hall,
Mozart's so-called ' Haffner' Symphony originated in a serenade composed in 1782 at his father's request for a festivity at the house of his Salzburg friends, the Haffners. It was written in great haste ; so great, that when his father returned the score to him, Mozart was ' quite surprised ' at its effectiveness.
The six-movement Serenade was cut down to a symphony the following year by the omission of the introductory march and one of the minuets, but the serenade-like character of part of the finale reminds one of the origin of the work.
' The Fourth Symphony in B flat', said Schumann, ' stands like B slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants.' Indeed, the music is full of grace and charm, and the slow movement is one of Beethoven's most beautiful inspirations, of which Berlioz said: The being who wrote such a marvel of inspiration as this movement was not a man ... Such must be the song of the Archangel Michael as he contemplates the world's uprising to the threshold of the empyrean.'
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