Allegro Molto

From Wind Repertory Project
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. James Thornton)

Subtitle: From Divertimento No. 14 in Bb K.270

General Info

Year: 1776 / 1975
Duration: c. 2:55
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: TRN Music Publisher
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $6.00


Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Horn in F


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1776, the year associated with America's struggle for independence, Mozart was twenty years old and was in his third year of tenure in Salzburg. He had spent the year first in refining his "courtly" style, then devoted a period of time exclusively to religious music, and in the final weeks turned his attention to renewal of his acquaintance with the older writers through the composition of a series of divertimenti for wind instruments. The Divertimento in Bb [K.270] was completed in the first week of the following year.

- Program Note from publisher

Musicologists Spitzer and Zaslow in their book Birth of the Orchestra tell us “In the courtly ethos of the 17th and 18th centuries great symbolic importance was placed on eating. A ruler had an obligation to feed ... the entire court. ... Thus, eating at court was both a display and an enactment of hierarchical social order ... the display of wealth and paternalistic obligations were aimed not only at the prince’s own subjects, but at other courts as well.”

Music was essential to these displays at table -- hence the term “tafelmusik” -- and was not to be taken lightly by the prince wishing to please. To a composer, however, the divertimentos and serenades that served as tafelmusik often went virtually unheard, as diners talked, laughed and created the commotion common to dinner parties.

Mozart’s Divertimento K.270 was composed in 1777. Mozart was in Salzburg with his father at this time and was chafing under the uberpaternalism of the Archbishop Colloredo, who saw Mozart as servant first and artist second. Lucky are we that this music, which seemed condemned to be muzak in the gallant style, was written by Mozart with such charm and youthful energy.

The piece is scored for the popular wind sextet (or Harmonie) of 18th century Austrian courts: 2 each of oboes, bassoons and horns.

Each movement, all in major keys, betrays Mozart’s youth and exuberance. A lively Allegro molto segues into a Haydnesque Andantino, simple, square-ish and altogether charming.

Program Note by Charles Peltz for the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble concert program, 9 December 2020

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Florida: III
  • Georgia: III
  • Michigan: Junior High B
  • New York: Concert Band III
  • Tennessee: III
  • Virginia: III


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." Accessed 25 January 2015.
  • Krienes, J.; Hansbrough, R. (2014). Music for Concert Band: A Selective Annotated Guide to Band Literature. Meredith Music Publications: Delray Beach, Fla.; pp. 33.
  • Mozart, W.; Thornton, J. (1972). Divertimento no. 14 in B flat, K. 270, allegro molto [score]. Manuscript.