Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Andante for Flute & Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his Andante for Flute & Orchestra in 1778, after a commission came through from Ferdinand De Jean. De Jean also commissioned K.313, also known as Flute Concerto No.1 in G major. However, the issue was that De Jean did not love the second movement concerto and wanted a short replacement for it. It has been documented that the Andante that Mozart wrote in response to De Jean was actually going to be the slow movement of the Third Flute Concerto that was never completed for De Jean. Either way, Andante became a stand-alone concert piece.
The opening oboe motif, accompanied by pizzicato basses, sets the gentle scene for the flute to enter. The gentle melody floats above warm strings as the broad melody is slowly decorated with trills and mordents. Mozart’s chromatic movements create colour within the music, creating a warm atmosphere for the flute to flourish in. In classic Mozartian style, the first flute solo comes to a perfect close. A short orchestral interlude takes us into the second section, which moves from the home key of C major into the corresponding minor. The change in mood here is shown in the dynamics and the way the accompaniment moves underneath the soloist.
As the music moves back into C major, Mozart utilises the pizzicato strings to accompany the newly-developed melody on the flute. The light accompaniment shines the light firmly onto the soloist. Another short orchestral interlude brings the melody into fruition before a short flute cadenza plays out. The gentle Andante comes to a peaceful close, with the oboes playing their opening theme one last time. The flute then plays the short melody in unison with the strings to finish this delicate piece.
Ⓒ Alex Burns