Mozart had taken his bride Constanze to visit with his father and sister in
Salzburg. On the way back to Vienna, they passed through Linz, where lived
a Count Thun, who asked the young couple to his palace and entertained them
royally. He also asked Mozart to write a new symphony for a private concert
he had planned for the fifth day after their arrival. On 31 October 1783
Mozart wrote to his father: "On Thursday, November 4th, I am going to give
a concert in the theater, and since I haven't a single symphony with me, I
am up to my ears writing away at a new one which must be finished by then."
In spite of the lively and sociable atmosphere in which it was written, the
"Linz" Symphony is more than merely playful or sentimental society music of
the kind that had been traditional in symphonies up to then. New emotions
of manly fire and thoughtful melancholy break through the polite
restraints. The "Linz" Symphony is the earliest in which Mozart introduces
his first movement with a slow passage of the kind Haydn had used for
This live recording was made at the "Grosser Musikvereinssaal" in Vienna in
1975. Karl Böhm led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.