Concerto IV in E-flat Major (tr Yeago)

From Wind Repertory Project
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (trans. Charles T. Yeago)

Subtitle: Rondo. F Horn and Band

This work bears the designation K. 495.

General Info

Year: c. 1786
Duration: c. 17:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: BAS Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
Solo Horn in F
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F II-III
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 495 was completed in 1786. The work is in three movements: Allegro moderato, Romance (Andante cantabile), and Rondo (Allegro vivace) 6/8. A typical performance duration of the concerto takes 16–18 minutes.

The manuscript, written in red, green, blue, and black ink, was formerly considered as a jocular attempt to rattle the intended performer, Mozart's friend Joseph Leutgeb. However, recently it was suggested that the multicolored score may also be a kind of "color code".

The last movement is a "quite obvious" example of the hunt topic, "in which the intervallic construction, featuring prominent tonic and dominant triads in the main melody, was to some degree dictated by the capability of the horn, and so was more closely allied with the original 'pure' characteristics of the 'chasse' as an open-air hunting call."

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Joseph Leutgeb (1732-1811) was the preeminent Austrian horn player of the second half of the 18th century, concertizing widely in continental Europe. In 1763 he became first horn of the orchestra in Salzburg, where he became friends with the Mozart family. He traveled with them in Italy, Leopold Mozart loaned Leutgeb money when he moved to Vienna in 1777, and Leutgeb remained a friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the end of the composer’s life. (In his last letters to his wife, Mozart mentions staying with Leutgeb and socializing with him.)

So it might not be surprising then that the first work Mozart composed in 1781 after he too relocated to Vienna was his first work for horn and orchestra, a Rondo in E-flat major, K. 371. Mozart ended up writing four concertos and a quintet with strings for the horn, all with Leutgeb in mind. Mozart included some characteristically pungent humor at Leutgeb’s expense in the manuscripts, but he clearly had enormous affection for the older musician and utmost respect for his abilities.

Ein Waldhorn Konzert für den Leutgeb (a hunting horn concerto for Leutgeb) was how Mozart described the Horn Concerto no. 4 in his own catalog. He used ink of four different colors in the manuscript, and the work is indeed a merry one, at least in the vivacious outer movements. The horn at that time was the natural, valveless instrument, and Mozart flaunts (or challenges) Leutgeb’s hand-stopping ability with chromatic lines in the first movement and lively passagework in the finale. The central Romanza is essentially an instrumental song, a typically Mozartean transformation of hunting horn commonplaces into reflective grace.

Program Note by John Henken for the Wayne State College Symphonic Band concert program, 20 April 2021


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Wayne (Neb.) State College Symphonic Band (Josh Calkin, conductor; Melissa Derechailo, horn) - 20 April 2021

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