Mozart and his father Leopold had traveled to Vienna in the summer of 1773 and while there the young composer heard many works from contemporary composers. While he was influenced by many, he was especially influenced by the works of Joseph Haydn and the now almost forgotten Czech composer Johann Wanhal. The 25th Symphony In G Minor is in the Sturm und Drang style of Haydn's symphonies of the time, and is one of only tw osymphonies in minor keys written by Mozart, with the other being Symphony No. 40, also written in G minor. To differentiate between the two works Symphony No. 25 is sometimes referred to a the Little G Minor Symphony.
Mozart composed the work in the fall of 1773 in Salzburg
It is Mozart's earliest symphony that found a place in the active concert repertoire. It is scored for two oboes, two bassoons, four horns, and the ususal strings. It is in four movements:
I. Allegro con brio - The movement begins with a short 4-bar section that appears to be an introduction but is actually part of the first theme. The violins and violas play a syncopated figure across the bar lines while the basses play on the beat which creates tension while the oboes play the outline of the beginning of the theme in whole notes. The first theme continues with an upward arpeggiated G minor chord in the style of a Mannheim Rocket:
II. Andante - A simple theme in E-flat major is heard in the strings and echoed in the bassoons. The music is relatively tension free and is a a short respite from the tension and stress of the other three movements.
III. Menuetto & Trio - Mozart goes back to the home key with a minuet that has a subtle hint of tension brought about by dymanic attacks of forte-piano (loud then suddenly soft). The trio is in G major and is written for the woodwinds and horns.
IV. Allegro - Written in sonata form, the tension of the first movement returns with all four horns, syncopations and a first theme firmly in G minor. A second theme flirts with B-flat major. A short development section creates further tension and leads to the recapitulation. All the themes are repeated inthe home key of G minor. The horns play a prominent part, a dramatic string part is added upon the repeat of the first theme by the horns. A short coda brings the symphony to a close.