Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto Number 3 in G, K. 216

Though trying to present the works on this site in the order in which I heard them, inevitably I make mistakes. If you have been following these entries, you know that I’m up to my junior year in college, which was 37 years ago, in the fall of 1975. Before leaving for Indiana University the summer before, I purchased a complete set of Mozart’s violin concertos performed by David Ostrich. I found them in the most unusual of places.

Back in the 1960s, several odd stores opened near my house. They dealt in all kinds remainders, factory seconds, damaged goods, and other stock that didn’t sell well in big stores. One was located in a Quonset hut, which was a type of ready-made house created for the armed forces. These were created by cutting a huge corrugated pipe-with a diameter of about 30 feet-transversally which created a huge, free-standing semi-circular structure. My father used to go there to buy fishing gear, spare auto parts, shotgun shells, work clothes, tools and other useful gadgets. They sometimes had toys and model cars, patent medicines, and once I even saw an antique Edison wax cylinder Dictaphone. I tried to talk my father into buying it, but it was too expensive.

My father and mother had grown up during The Great Depression, which meant that they had to scrimp, save, recycle, scrounge and pinch their pennies for most of their early lives. My father worked most of his adult life for an auto manufacturers–Studebaker’s–which had a seasonal work schedule. The factory would shut down every summer while they retooled for the fall models, so they would lay off their employees and then hire them back in the fall. Isn’t capitalism wonderful? Raising five kids put my parents constantly on the lookout for bargains. And I grew up the same way.

When I started driving, I used to spend Saturdays going to flea markets, antique shops and garage sales. Before leaving for school in the fall of 1974, I stopped by the Quonset hut to see if they had any cheap school supplies. When I walked in I noted a huge pile of opened vinyl LPs lying on a shelf. I went over to take a look and was amazed to see that they were about one half rock and the other half classical. Even more astounding was the price–forty-nine cents each. I took a look at the surface of the albums-they were pristeen! I think I bought the whole stack, among which was the boxed set of the Mozart violin concertos. The rock half consisted of almost every Beatle album, whose music I also liked a lot, so I felt very lucky indeed.

Mozart wrote his five violin concertos during a four year time span when he served as the concert master of the court orchestra in Salzburg. He started that gig when he was 16! During that time period, he also wrote upwards of 37 movements for solo violin and orchestra, which is an astounding output. What do you expect though? His father, Leopold, was one of the foremost music educators of the time period having written a treatise on violin technique (and of course tutored the greatest child prodigy ever).
The Concerto in G (Number 3), has a bright, cheerful first movement, whose theme Mozart borrowed from his own work, a musical play called, Il Re Pastore. The slow second movement, the adagio, contains one of those incredibly beautiful melodies, almost like the slow movement of his Piano Concerto Number 21 (called Elvira Madigan after a Swedish film in which it was used.) The final movement is an ebullient Rondo that is so upbeat that it makes your toes tap, which shows its roots in the dance forms of the day.

Funny that I would discover this jewel in a junk shop amid used car parts, tubes of Preparation H, and fishing rods.

Buy CD or Download MP3s of Mozart: Violin Concerto 3

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

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