“Just a simple pulse, like a rusty squeezebox… and then high above it, an oboe, a single note hanging there unwavering until a clarinet took it over sweetening it into a phrase of such delight. This was a music I’d never heard… I was hearing the voice of God.” The adagio from Mozart’s sublimely beautiful Serenade could be an instrumental version of one of his opera ensembles, with oboe, clarinet and basset horn singing their heartfelt melismas over a serene accompaniment.
The whole work is a truly immaculate piece which represents the summit of wind music. Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony’s appeal is not hard to understand. The ambition of the first movement, beauty of the second, the breathlessness of the scherzo, and relentless energy of the finale never fail to impress audiences. Its dance elements, vitality, and almost frenzied sense of celebration are conveyed principally through rhythm – the “apotheosis of the dance itself” as described by Wagner.