Sheet Music: Symphony No. 40

TitleSymphony No. 40
Alternate titlesGreat G minor symphony
Molto allegro
Opus numberK. 550
ComposerWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG minor
Time signature2/2
Tempo104 BPM
Performance time7:40
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (140 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (3.7 MB)
Date added2009-12-27
Last updated2009-12-27
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 6.6 (very popular)
Classical, Symphonies


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Sunday 27 December 2009

Tune of the Day: Symphony No. 40

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV. 550, in 1788. It is sometimes referred to as the “Great G minor symphony”, to distinguish it from the “Little G minor symphony”, No. 25. Quite remarkably, the two are the only minor-key symphonies Mozart wrote.

The symphony is cast in the usual four movements; the opening “Molto allegro” immediately announces something unusual by starting darkly, not with its first theme but with accompaniment. The uneasy passion of the main theme leads to conclusions that seem to protest rather than find any consolation. The movement's dominant feeling is urgency: upbeat after upbeat after upbeat occurs.

Symphony No. 40 has elicited varying interpretations. Robert Schumann regarded it as possessing “Grecian lightness and grace”. Almost certainly, however, the most common perception today is that the symphony is tragic in tone and intensely emotional. Although interpretations differ, the symphony is unquestionably one of Mozart's most greatly admired works, and it is frequently performed and recorded.