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Program Notes

Concerto No. 2 for Horn, K. 417

(1783)

Wolfgang A. Mozart, composer

This piece, dated May 27, 1783, was written for Mozart’s long time friend, horn player Joseph Leutgeb. Mozart corresponded with Leutgeb frequently, and although Mozart’s letters are well known for their earthy quality, his notes to Leutgeb on the scores of the horn concertos, of which there are four, were chiding and amusing. Concerto No. 2 is inscribed: "To Leutgeb: ass, ox, and fool." Other notes to Leutgeb: over repeated notes, "Play at least one of these right;" over a difficult run, "Another tough one. Damn it! Let’s finish this please;" at a trill, "Oh, bleating like a sheep! Thank heaven! Enough is enough!;" at other places, "Get going, be brave." Concerto No. 2’s three movements are a grand Allegro maestoso, a singing Andante, and a final Rondo with echoes of the hunt.

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