Overture for Zaide (alleged)

32nd Mozart symphony in D major

Mozart's original manuscript of the Paris Symphony in the Berlin State Library

Source: Wikimedia

After his mother’s death Mozart left Paris, largely because his father insisted on him doing so. The 32nd Mozart symphony was composed during this time. Three merging movements – it may be possible to speak of only one movement – characterise this Italian overture. The last movement is a resumption of the first movement. Mozart used four instead of the usual two horns in the orchestra and created previously unheard-of effects such as tutti-crescendi, wind section insertions brimming with a richness in tonality, tremoli and piano-forte changes.

Leading critics cannot reach an agreement about whether or not this Mozart symphony was designed as an overture for an opera and, if so, which one. “Zaide” or “Thamos, King of Egypt” are possibilities.