Historical Development of Violin Concertos (III) – Mozart’s Violin Concerto No:5 (2)

Source: Sadie, Stanley “Mozart” in The New Grove’s Dictionary of Music

Style, Form and Analysis:

There is a term named “double exposition’’. The main theme is doubled by orchestra and soloist. Firstly, Orchestra introduces main theme, then soloist part. This doubled idea come from baroque ritornello concerto idea. Principle of ritornello concerto is returning of main theme by orchestra. The soloist part plays between ritornelli.  Thus, this ritornello principle of Baroque concerto is not disregarded because orchestra also turn same refrain. We can encounter this idea in all violin concertos of Mozart, additionally, other Classical era composers such as Haydn.

In addition, we can also encounter development part and recapitulation in concerto-sonata form. In development part, the theme is fragmented or composer constitutes a new theme in key which ended in exposition with modulations and develop ideas which are in exposition.

In recapitulation, first and second subjects are repeated mostly tonic key. The most certain cadence of movement is in end of recapitulation.

All Mozart violin concertos have cadences. Actually, these cadences are not composed by Mozart, these are improvising part of concertos. However, some performers improvises cadence in the past, today violinists perform cadences which are already composed some musicians such as, Joseph Joachim, David Oistrakh.

Second movement of concerto can be consisted from different forms. In general, It can be large ternary or binary. Because, Mozart was interested in Opera and vocal music, second movements are always aria-like. He used violin as a cantilena.

Third movements are like  folk music effect on Mozart’s works in third movements. French courtly and folk dances can be occurred. French Gallant idea is dominant in rondo.
I.Allegro Aperato: It is the most different and improved concerto. The principle of double exposition is different. First the orchestra has the theme then, soloist plays adagio introduction section against orchestral opening ritornello. The movement is occurred from the fast section that has difficult technical passages by soloist. Orchestra is accompaniment.

Stanley Sadie states that “The A  Major concerto has its unique aspect. Mozart begins the piece with a single chord f, then unfolds a line in the first violins which rises quavers  p, until it reaches the next loud chord.( A rather similar rising line is found in Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto Op 6 No.4 , but the consequences are different there).” Thus, we can realize that there is a Italian effect in Mozart’s concertos.(3)


All of his violin concertos are in major key. It is valid that there is a tendency towards major keys en enlightenment period. According to my opinion, Mozart wanted to use brilliant timbre of violin so; he composed fifth violin concertos in a major key.


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