You are on page 1of 6

Music History 1 Final Essay

Sean Marantelli
696434

Flute, being one of the oldest instruments to exist in one for or another, has a multitude of repertoire

available to it, that comes from a range of of genres of music. In saying that, the the Allegro Aperto from

W.A. Mozarts Concerto no. 2 in D Major, K. 314 is a piece of flute repertoire that has stood the test of time,

to become a standard piece in the flute repertoire. This paper is ultimately a performance guide for flautists

looking for assistance in preparing a historically informed performance of this work. In doing this, a brief

history of Mozart as a composer and musician will be touched on, as well as a brief introduction into the

context under which the work was composed. I will also be touching on performance issues that other

flautists have experienced in trying to prepare this work in a historically informed manner, whilst touching on

important treatises regarding playing the flute by Joachim Quantz and Johann George Tromlitz. Finally, I will

present conclusions Ive come to, based on the research Ive done, on how to best give a historically

informed performance of this work, with particular focus being placed on the interpretations of ornaments,

the use of dynamics, and the tempo at which this work should be performed.

Commissioned by Dutch flautist Ferdinand De Jean, the Allegro Aperto from W.A. Mozarts Concerto no. 2

in D Major, K. 314 is the first movement, in the second of two flute concertos, composed by Mozart. These

two concerti composed by Mozart have become staple pieces of flute literature in the flute repertoire, often

being set a required work to be performed in competitions and orchestral auditions around the world. Whilst

it is more technically simple than other works that are held in similar esteem in the flute repertoire, the

difficulty of performing this piece comes in giving a historically informed performance, which is why this work

is frequently set as a required piece in competitions and orchestral auditions. The Allegro Aperto is the first

movement of this concerto, which is in a traditional concerto format, consisting of three movements, two fast

paced movements bookending a slow movement, which is in the sub-dominant key of G Major. This

movement can be described as being in Double Exposition Sonata Form,1 containing an exposition, which is

often the part of this concerto set for auditions, a development section and a recapitulation of the exposition

to wrap the movement up.

1 Douglas Worthen, Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314 (Illinois: 2010), 6.
Music History 1 Final Essay
Sean Marantelli
696434
The flute concertos K314 in D Major and K313 in G Major, together with the andante in C major for flute and

orchestra K315, were evidently likewise undertaken for Dejean,2 however, De Jean had commissioned

Mozart for a total of four flute quartets and three flute concerti. Mozart, however, only ended up completing

three quartets and only one new flute concerto. The concerto K314 was originally a concerto in C Major for

the Oboe; in an attempt to complete De Jeans commission requests, he decided to make some minor

adjustments to the already existing work and transpose it up a tone. As a consequence, Mozart was not paid

for the composition of this concerto. It was well documented that De Jean and Mozart did not get along, so

much so that Mozart abandoned a flute concerto in mid-composition because [De Jean] failed to pay up.3

History recognises Mozart to be a prodigiously good musician, whose talents became palpable at the young

age of four. This flute concerto was one of many works composed by Mozart, who was also equally apt at

playing keyboard instruments as he was at composition. Mozarts works are often considered to have

defined and dominated the period of music that is considered to be Classicism, and his works

encompassed a vast multitude of instrumentations from full works for Symphony Orchestra, to small solo

pieces for keyboard.

The Allegro Aperto from W.A. Mozarts Concerto no. 2 in D Major, K. 314 was composed for a classical

flauto traverso, or rather transverse flute, the flute for which all of Mozarts flute literature was composed.

Whilst a traditional flauto traverso from the Baroque period contained at most, one key, around the time of

Mozarts birth in the 1750s London instrument makers took the baroque flute and added a system of flute

keys, while also increasing the taper of its bore. The result was an even stronger lower register and more

solid tuning.4 The classical flute of Mozarts time included approximately 4 keys. Whilst it was a vast

improvement on the Baroque flute, it was still littered with intonation issues; it would be at least a century

before Boehm designed his comprehensive fingering system that eliminated the need for weak cross fingers.

Equal temperament was not a thing that had been established in the time of Mozart, and as a consequence,

certain keys had very different tone and pitch qualities. D Major was considered to be a bright and happy

key; many historically informed performances of this piece are given with this in mind. D Major was also the

2 Herman Abert, W.A. Mozart (Germany: 2007), 422.

3 Stuart Sim, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism (London: 2001), 183.

4 Mozart, L (1756) Stowell, R. Performance Practice: Thames & Hudson, 1990.


Music History 1 Final Essay
Sean Marantelli
696434
the easiest key to play on the early flute as notes outside the flute's basic scale of D major had to be

produced through cross-fingerings, which were often too sharp or too flat.5

Johann Joachim Quantz, a famous classical composer who lived during the same time as Mozart, wrote a

treatise called On Playing the Flute. It is considered to be a piece of literature of imperative importance

when one is attempting to play works from the Classical Period for flute in a historically informed manner.

Discussed heavily by Quantzs in this treatise is the approach one should take to performing and adding

ornamentations to classical flute works. In the chapter Of Shakes, Quantz talks of how each shake[/trill]

begins with the appoggiatura that precedes its note [and that] the appoggiatura may be taken from above or

below,6 which contradicts a popular preconception of classical music that all trills should always begin from

the note above. Finally, its worth noting that given the emphasis that Quantz places on shakes, or trills

rather, and the importance of their finessed execution indicates that the preparation and performance of trills

is tantamount to a successful historically informed performance. As Quantz himself writes: if an

instrumentalist were to possess all the skill required by good taste in performance, and yet could not strike

good shakes, his total art would be incomplete.7

In Worthens essay, Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314, further support for the idea

of a performer assigning their own ornaments to this work can be drawn through the statement that [as] with

most 18th century repertoire, [performers] have decisions to make about performing ornaments in the

Concerto in D Major, K. 314.8 Worthens writing frequently cite the Quantz treatise presented above, and in

addition to noting Quantzs thoughts on the matter, he also presents suggestions on informed ornamentation

derived from Johann George Tromlitzs Flute Treatise. What Tromlitzs describes in his treatise regarding

ornamentation compliments the views of Quantz, offering further support to the performance suggestions

made by Worthen. According to Worthen In 1752, Quantz stated: If a rest follows a note, the appoggiatura

receives the time of the note, and the note the time of the rest, unless the need to take breath makes this

5 Jane Bowers, Mozart and the Flute, Early Music 20, no. 1 (1992): 32.

6Johann Joachim Quantz: On playing the flute (London: Faber and Faber, 1985), 103.

7 Robin Stowell, Performance Practise, (1990): 21.

8 Worthen, Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314, 9.


Music History 1 Final Essay
Sean Marantelli
696434
impossible.9 This is in keeping with the suggestions described by Tromlitz; where, according to Worthen, as

late as 1791, Tromlitz describes the practice in his Flute Treatise:

The value of the long appoggiatura varies; if it is written in front of an ordinary note, it is worth half of
it. But if there is a dot after the note, then the appoggiatura is worth as much as the written note, and
the dot is played alone, and slurred onto the long appoggiatura. One proceeds in just the same way
if instead of the dot there is a rest after the note.10

In light of these two very similar views presented by Worthen, I have decided to assign the length my

appoggiaturas based off of the content of the treatise written by Quantz.

One of the first things a performer should take into consideration when performing the first movement of this

flute concerto is Mozarts tempo marking Allegro Aperto, which according to his father Leopold Mozart is to

be interpreted as a gay, but not hurried11 pace. After careful consideration, I have assigned a tempo of 124

crotchet beats per minute as the tempo which best aligns with W.A. Mozarts instruction, and his father

Leopolds interpretation of them. An examination of the Urtext score of the Allegro Aperto shows that Mozart

wrote very little in the way of dynamics, as it was expected of performers of the time to make these

performance decisions themselves. It is a commonly accepted convention amongst flautists, that whenever

there are repeated motifs or melodies in a row, one should assign a quiet dynamic on the first iteration of the

motif, and grow through the phrase making the last iteration the loudest. That said, there is one example in

this movement, where I have decided to do the opposite, as I believe this makes for a more engaging

performance.

Figure A: Mozart Concerto for Flute in D Major K.314 Allegro Aperto bars 32-40

9 Worthen, Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314, 9.

10 Worthen, Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314, 9.

11 Robin Stowell, Performance Practise, (1990): 21.


Music History 1 Final Essay
Sean Marantelli
696434

The opening statement of the concerto as shown above in Figure A, is void of any dynamic markings.

However, an examination of recordings or performances of this work typically considered historically

informed reveals a de rigueur realisation of the opening phrase whereby the sustained D in bar 33 begins at

with a forte piano that then grows back to a forte by the end of bar 36. It is widely accepted amongst flautists

that this is how the opening should be presented, and I plan to perform the opening statement of this

concerto with this in mind. Likewise, if we examine Figure B below, we see a small motif of two Bs following

a C sharp. This is a perfect opportunity for me to impose my own dynamic expression by playing the first

iteration of this motif at a pianissimo dynamic, followed with a crescendo to play the third ornamented

occurrence of this motif at a forte, as the phrase concludes with an interrupted cadence.

Figure B: Mozart Concerto for Flute in D Major K.314 Allegro Aperto bars 61-64

Finally, Ive decided to perform all trills in this movement, beginning from the upper note, with the exception

of trills where the preceding note is the note above (Figure C). I believe that in instances where the

preceding note is the upper note, that repeating the upper note would require an extra articulation of the then

repeated note, and as a consequence this could risk interrupting the line. I consider the continuity of the line

of utmost importance, especially around trills as they often precede important cadence points.

Figure C: Mozart Concerto for Flute in D Major K.314 Allegro Aperto bars 58-60
Music History 1 Final Essay
Sean Marantelli
696434
Bibliography:

Abert, Herman. W.A. Mozart. Germany, Yale University Press, 2007.

Bowers, Jane. "Mozart and the Flute." Early Music 20, no. 1 (1992): 31-42.

Mozart, Leopold (1756) Stowell, Robin. Performance Practice: Thames & Hudson, 1990.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major KV 314. Munich: G. Henre Verlag, 2000.

Quantz, Johann Joachim. On playing the flute. London: Faber and Faber, 1985.

Sim, Stuart. The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 2001.

Worthen, Douglas. Ornamentation in Mozarts Flute Concerto in D Major K.314, Southern Illinois University,

2010.