Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 314 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (1756 – 1791)
- Allegro aperto
- Andante ma non troppo
After being fired by his previous employer, Count Hieronymus Joseph Franz de Paula Colloredo, Archbishop of Salzburg, Wolfgang, chaperoned by his mother, had left Salzburg to seek fame and fortune. Unfortunately, his undiplomatic nature did not endear him to the courts of Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim, so court engagements proved elusive.
Forced to give piano lessons in return for board and lodging in Mannheim, Mozart and his mother were close to destitute. Luckily, Ferdinand de Jean, a surgeon and amateur flute player, commissioned Mozart to write “three modest, simple and short concertos and a couple of quartets for the flute”. One would think that the 200 florins (about $10,000 today) offered by de Jean would have been embraced with open arms. However, Mozart detested the flute. One reason could have been that prior to Boehm’s improvements in the 1800’s, its intonation problems were legendary. Wolfgang was also actively courting the soprano Aloes Weber, a much more enjoyable activity! So he procrastinated. Eventually he produced only two of the requested concertos, and three of the four quartets. Even then, the second concerto was not original. Mozart simply transposed the existing C Major Oboe concerto into D Major! No wonder de Jean only coughed up 96 florins for the commission instead of the promised 200.
The D Major flute concerto follows the standard three-movement structure of the classical concerto. The soloist dominates throughout, with virtuosic writing in the last movement cleverly disguised in a lively dance.
Performed: 1991, 2004, June 2013